The best leaders are the ones that can continue to successfully lead and motivate their people even during times of crisis. So says Marshall Goldsmith, consultant and professor of Executive Education at Dartmouth’s Tuck School, as well as speaker in this year’s World Business Forum Buenos Aires.
Based on his many years of experience as advisor for distinct executives—ranging from the most successful to the most disastrous—Goldsmith has developed three suggestions for leaders to apply in the toughest of times. Where and on who should you be focusing? Learn the answer in the following.
Extracted from Marshall Goldsmith’s blog
- The first person that you need to keep focused is YOU. When you assume a leadership role, you take on an important responsibility- being a role model for your team. When the future is very uncertain, your team members are going to be looking at your face and listening to your tone of voice as much as they are listening to the words that you say. You need to communicate the same level of personal motivation for work when the future is challenging that you do when the future is rosy.
- Don't sugar-coat the truth. Don't lie to your team members and don't lie to yourself. You, your team and your organization need to make realistic projections for the future. The need for "stretch goals" must be balanced with reality. I recently observed an otherwise successful executive lead his organization into disaster. He became so focused on achieving his publicly stated goal that he didn't want to face the reality of the negative projections that were coming from his people. The result was predictable. The forecast was not met, the organization's analysts were incensed and the company's market value plummeted.
- In team meetings keep the focus on what can be changed and what can't. There are always going to be uncontrollable environmental factors that influence the success of an organization. Your staff members can waste countless hours talking about how tough times are and bemoaning what they cannot change. This provides an unneeded distraction at a time when focus is more important than ever. In teams meetings, keep asking, "Given the business reality that exists, how can we make the most positive, possible difference to our future?"