Being an executive comes with more pressure than any other role. Corporate leaders are expected to be a voice of reason during times of crisis, but they often find themselves being pressured to come up with solutions to problems they feel are beyond their control. Leaders are expected to step forward and respond during a time of crisis rather than focus on who is to blame or what went wrong. People want to know what to expect, how things will improve and ultimately walk away feeling more inspired and in control because of the executive’s demeanor.
Leadership strategies like communication, active listening and strategic planning all come into play during a crisis. Whether it’s internal or a nationwide problem, leaders can benefit from drawing upon these strengths as they devise solutions.
The skills and knowledge leaders rely upon in their day-to-day jobs are not the same ones that will help see a company through a crisis. Leaders have to be comfortable not having all the answers; people know when others are unsure of themselves, and it’s better to be honest about the ambiguity of a situation than to minimize its impact or any potential fallout.
Accepting the uncertainty of a situation should not involve entertaining worst-case scenarios or assuming disaster is imminent. However, given the fact no one can fully predict the outcome of anything, it’s better to rely on present information and implement strategies that evolve as the situation develops.
Collaborate Whenever Possible
Leaders who are overly confident wind up being held accountable when things take a turn for the worse. It’s better to seek out those who are more informed and be humble. Being in charge also means knowing when one doesn’t have all the answers or the ability to remedy something on their own. True leadership is rooted in collaboration and identifying the right talent for every problem.
Go Through Leadership Training
There is always something new to learn, and education doesn’t stop when someone reaches the top of their career. Leaders who commit to learning serve as active role models for employees, and they gain relationships with mentors who they can turn to during difficult periods without causing distress.
Leaders who are committed to self-improvement contribute to their company’s growth; a willingness to expand one’s own abilities naturally translates into greater solutions and receptiveness during difficult times.