A Shaky Economy Requires a Steady Hand in Business

The current economic environment is a challenge for all leaders; however I believe that times of great uncertainty are also times of great opportunity. Strong leaders need a steady hand on the helm to weather the storm. Great leadership is the steady hand that inspires us to persist through adversity.

Business leaders are facing more challenges than ever; we must remain focused, calm and optimistic. Times like these demand leaders who can plan, make decisions and have the courage and fortitude to keep a clear eye on the competitive picture and a steady hand on the organizational wheel, especially  during times of crisis and a weak economy.

We can allow a crisis like a bad economy to weaken and destroy us, or we can see it as an opportunity for growth and renewal. The choice is one that every business leader must face.

Today’s negative messages are being anchored into our brains without even realizing it, turning off our creativity and intuition that is critical during these times. In the midst of all the doom and gloom; companies can actually thrive and grow, even during down economies. It’s how we approach it that makes all the difference. We must be the anchors no matter how rough times get. We must show stability no matter how unstable the world becomes.

The most difficult time for a leader is during periods of uncertainty that threaten the stability and confidence of the people within the organization. At the end of the day, the company that will survive in this economy is the one whose leadership is able to bring a level of trust and confidence throughout the company. Demonstrating leadership clarity can turn uncertain times into positive action and direction. Leaders must show confidence; just remember, a shaky leader creates a shaky organization.

It is very important to work towards stability when times get chaotic or shaky. Leaders must instill confidence and provide stability through their words and actions. Exhibiting a steady hand, a calm demeanor and quiet confidence will lessen the fears of our employees, who look to us for cues. They need to see a steady hand and an attentive attitude. We must remember that we are their lighthouse in the storm.

When uncertainty is pervasive and the future lacks predictability, employees need reassurance.  A leader with a steady hand can feel like a life raft during these uncertain times. Business leaders need to focus on being completely transparent and positive. Good leaders must be able to create an environment of trust and respect. We must be the voice of reason, our clarity and consistency in employee communications is critical in a tough environment.

Great leaders can inspire everyone in their company to see a future greater than the one in front of them. This all starts with our core values, core competencies, culture and mission. Leaders must focus on the bigger picture and ensure that everyone shares a common vision. We must be willing to make decisions and lead by example. Most consider this the most important quality in a good leader. Employees are willing to sacrifice during tough times as long as they see sacrifice coming from the top as well. We must represent a clear set of values and principles that set a good example for our employees.

 “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

Leadership can be challenging when our companies face difficult situations, but it is during those times that the true leader emerges to inspire, provide hope, and create a positive attitude.  Leaders must keep a steady hand on the helm to sail smoothly through troubled waters. With perseverance, careful planning and a steady hand, all business leaders can build the right foundation and obtain the right resources to grow. Even in this shaky economy, we can prevail in the end and breathe new life to revive this economy.

Jamie Wood, Avatel EVP







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