My Life in Words
Blogs by Eric Miller
Visionary Leaders Channel Uncertainty While Leading
Some of the biggest revelations can occur during uncertain times in business. Great leaders have the ability to calm their emotions when the appearance of a catastrophe is around the corner. Channeling the uncertainty of business downturns is key in being a visionary leader. Reflecting on why you started your business and effectively communicating your vision with stakeholders can be unifying and provide a gateway to a new paradigm.
In another blog post, I talked about how Bad News Can Be Good for Business. Receiving good information about what is really happening at fulfillment time and customer interaction is critical especially during downturns in business. As a visionary leader, it is your turn to reassure and inspire staff about what they already see is going on.
Three Strategies to Lead During Uncertain Times
1. Express Your Vision. Leading with distinction requires that you channel your emotions. Having the clarity of why you got into business in the first place and how your product delivers on a specific need will be contagious. Ask yourself, “would I start my business all over again, if I knew how hard it would be?” If the answer is no, perhaps it’s time to get a job. If the answer is yes, leading with enthusiasm and conviction will provide more certainty for stakeholders.
2. Be Nimble. We all know that creating an action map for your business is important. But what can be challenging is knowing when to be flexible in altering that strategy. Beware of becoming to certain about an old plan. Today’s business environment requires that you are nimble when the market requires change. Merely having a satisfied customer is no longer an effective strategy for retention. Today you have to be constantly innovating and reinventing to compete. Why do you think that the techies are constantly updating your iPhone IOS? Not to confuse you, but to keep you engaged and a member of a community.
Today’s pop culture emphasizes the law of attraction. We know that means that we attract what we think about. Being nimble as a visionary leader requires that your mindset be extraordinarily nimble. Creating a new reality for your business will occur, when you choose how you perceive it.
3. Naked Communication. What is the natural response when going through a business apocalypse? To shut up and not tell staff. As a visionary leader you’ve hired staff that are smarter than you in their area of expertise. These stakeholders can sense what is going on. Withdrawing and not communicating with them will create dissension and in many cases a mass exodus. Uncertainty breads anxiety. Anxiety breeds suspicion.
In the good times a newsletter or memo is a satisfactory way to communicate good news. In perceived bad times, frequent verbal communication is how visionary leaders, lead. Effectively communicating the naked truth to staff can be unifying and key in brainstorming a new strategy in action-taking. An effective strategy could be that you tell staff that there is no change in the current business downturn. Having regular meetings can inspire new leadership in departments to come up with solutions to accelerate business growth.
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