The importance of good leadership during an unexpected crisis
We here at Finlay-Mulligan & Co Accountants and indeed, the whole world has seen during the recent coronavirus pandemic, having a strong leader at the helm of your company serves to give your staff and strategy some real purpose – allowing you to make the correct decisions and to weather the storm and guide the business along the correct course.
So, what does good leadership in a crisis look like? And what steps can you take to become the role model, strategic thinker and leader that your staff and company deserve?
To begin with, it helps to understand what kind of leader you want to be. Are you aiming to be strong, dynamic and forthright? Or do you want to be empathetic, open and inspirational? There are pros and cons to both, but in a crisis, there’s a need for a good mix of both.
Here are some tips from the Finlay-Mulligan & Co. team to help you become a successful leader in a crisis:
- Make sure you’re in control of the business – overcoming your current challenges means being in control, whether your business hurdles are crashing sales figures, poor cash flow or the pressure of a strong competitor. So, to begin with, it’s important to have the right information at hand, to have a strong, experienced management team behind you and to work with advisers who can show you the future path of the business.
- Show real empathy towards your team – the days of the ‘angry boss’, who stands and shouts at their team to get results, are thankfully over. Having a more emotionally intelligent and empathetic connection with your people is more effective and certainly creates a more engaged team. If you can build this positive connection with your people, and allow yourself to walk in their shoes for a moment, you’ll reduce the classic ‘us and them’ ideology and will create a more connected and harmonious team – a team that’s ready to pull their weight and get the company through tough challenges.
- Keep everyone on board with your plans – in uncertain times, your strategy, tactics and plans may well change on a frequent basis. To combat any potential confusion or disengagement, have regular company-wide meetings, keep everyone in the loop and be transparent about where the business is going. This helps you to keep the team engaged with your mission, on board with your strategy and more productive when there are challenges and threats in the path of your key goals.
- Talk more openly to your customers – stepping up communication with customers during a crisis is a good way to reinforce your leadership to an external audience. Keeping silent can create a vacuum for a dissatisfied customer to think the worst. When customers understand the reason why they’re not getting their usual service or product they are more likely to understand and stay loyal – both to your brand and to you as the face of the company. So, stay in touch, post videos and make your customers feel included in the company’s journey through this storm.
We here at Finlay-Mulligan & Co. understand that there’s no single ‘right’ way to lead. Every boss is different, every company is unique and every team requires a different approach to management, but understanding how you can improve your management style can help your company not just through a crisis but in the long run.
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