I know some industries, companies, markets and teams are feeling the content of this writing,(plz find a few moments for YOU & your people):
TOUGH TIMES LEADERSHIP - 'CARING but ACCOUNTABLE'
(BTW - anyone can lead in the easy times)
Leaders ‘because they are leaders’ have to STEP UP! Leaders must realize that there is reason to be overly-conscious and attentive to your people during tough changing unsettling times. These times could look like down-sizing, budget cutting, business instability, acquisitions, people (close relations) going away, etc. These clearly cause distraction and disruption within the culture. Leaders be sure of one thing: avoiding the climate and not talking about it all, is not the answer! It may seem like you are protecting ‘them’ but indeed you are making it worse by your silence and lack of action (leadership).
Worry of job security gets into the heads of people (you) understandably. During these ‘hopefully brief’ periods, it demands leaders ‘step-up’ their leadership. If not, these periods will likely not be brief…
Leaders [because they are leaders] can’t become distracted, depressed or live in that funk like others – they must be above getting caught up in the drama. Indeed one’s real leadership becomes really needed and scrutinized during these times. A leader’s REAL LEADERSHIP CAPABILITY, INSPIRATION, DIRECTION and INFLUENCE is revealed when times become stressful and insecure; his/her true worth is revealed!
People at all levels within organizations can and WILL become not only paralyzed and dysfunctional – they can become nonproductive! Is this too dramatic or over-stated here? …maybe – maybe not!
What might all this look like?
All of these are very logical responses to the situation they (you) are in; it’s a matter of self-preservation for all.
Working relationships vertically and horizontally, can become very strained as individuals withdrawal, lack concentration, focus and make it the priority to deflect bad stuff to someone else’s corner.
>>>>>Leaders must again ‘step-up’ - what’s required here is perceptive and effective leadership. Leaders have to understand, overly communicate, be compassionate, get past his/her own fears – while at the same time upholding standards and continue holding people ACCOUNTABLE. Huh?...therein is the challenge. How to be compassionate and caring while expecting results!
Accountability cannot slip…..when people fail, this becomes acceptable and well you get it – that slippery slope thing. When people fail, so do their leaders, think about that one! This is about LEADERSHIP ACCOUNTABILITY isn’t it?
(Individuals) - if your boss is not on top of all this - take the issue to him/her and minimally gain some assurance for yourself if you are in need. If it is too uncomfortable to try to get it addressed totally, just leave this article and hope it gets read and acted upon!
(Leaders) - tell your people all you know and most importantly, don’t lie to them. The best thing you can do is to be brutally honest with them. Honesty is all that they seek and all they realistically will expect you to provide them. Don’t allow it to be dwelled upon, but let it be safe territory to discuss while again expecting ACCOUNTABILITY in their daily duties.
couple last points here:
1) It is my belief that management at the top is not at all left out of all this!?! As a matter of fact, all this has a huge amount of relevance and application to the top layers of management. When upper level managers begin to act out in these ways, it becomes very obvious to the subordinate leaders / chain of command; and the troops. People do ‘see and feel’ what their leaders are seeing and feeling!!!
2) Please keep this in mind…this is just ‘natural-ness’ and should be treated that way. People should have this talked about in these terms; corrective action and/or coaching needs to continue without discouraging ‘talk’ about the situation or laying blame or faulting anyone. The reacting to the unknown is natural, but leaders can control the damage if he/she can catch it midstream and expose the situation and behaviors that we are beginning to see. Simply consciousness, involving all and awareness can do much to stem the tide if we LEAD in this time of need.
Now sit back and ponder this for a moment: Are you and your peers (other leaders/chain of command) beginning to show the signs? Are your people?
BTW - anyone can lead in the easy times!
Take care, Doug