Great leaders never hide, especially in a crisis
There’s a funny thing going on right now. Officially the pandemic is over, but we’re all still operating in crisis mode. We’re being bombarded by daily negative news cycles, interest rates are rising, the world is heading towards a recession and …… if feels a little like we’re all going to hell in a hand-basket at times. Doesn’t it?
Not sure about you, but that makes me want to bury my head in the sand and hide for a bit. Well, here’s a reality check: if you aspire to become the CEO of your own life, career, and destiny, hiding is not an option – especially when times are tough.
The statement “great leaders never hide, especially in a crisis” applies to executives everywhere. Despite the inevitable increase in workload and the complexity of new problems, your leadership and executive presence have become even more crucial.
For those aiming to take charge of their lives, careers and destinies, or in fact successfully lead your division or organisation through this, the statement emphasises the importance of prioritising your time and using it effectively during difficult periods. It means that despite a busy schedule, you must make yourself available both physically and mentally to address the challenges at hand. It’s natural to feel overwhelmed or desire a few quiet days at home to concentrate, but retreating or disappearing when your leadership is most needed is not an option.
To ensure you remain a visible and engaged executive during a crisis consider the following five principles:
- Communicate Frequently: Maintaining trust and confidence requires clear and frequent communication. Proactively share updates, provide reassurance, and outline the steps being taken to address the crisis with your teams, stakeholders, management, and customers as appropriate.
- Decide like a CEO: Demonstrating sound judgment and taking responsibility for your decisions is vital. Even with a busy schedule, make timely and informed decisions, adjust priorities if necessary and/or delegate tasks. Instead of procrastinating, ask yourself, “What would a Standout CEO do here? What decision would I make if I were the CEO of my own life, career, and destiny?” Then take action accordingly. Action boosts clarity, which boosts certainty and boosts confidence. You can’t afford not to.
- Collaborate don’t Isolate: Successful navigation of a crisis requires collaboration and teamwork. Despite that almost overwhelming drive to bury your head in the sand or hide in high level discussions, resist. Instead, actively support your teams by offering guidance, resources, and encouragement. Be accessible to provide support as needed.
- Lead by Example: Demonstrate your commitment and dedication to your team or organisation by leading by example. Your actions, work ethic, and resilience can inspire and motivate others to stay focused and determined.
- Become the Leader You Want to See and Be a Powerful Role Model: Especially for women and other underrepresented groups, you can serve as a powerful role model during tough times. By showcasing your resilience, problem-solving abilities, and decisive action, you can inspire others to step up and contribute their skills and expertise. Prove the 77% of men and 55% of women wrong who believe that a man is the best person to lead when the chips are down. Become a shining beacon to foster a more inclusive and diverse leadership culture that brings everyone through.
While it may be exhausting to remain in the spotlight during challenging times, it’s a must. Your teams look to you for guidance, and others in the organisation rely on you to be the shining light. Delegate tasks, leverage technology and support systems, stay organised, and prioritise your own health and well-being to balance the increasing stress while maintaining your role as a visible and engaged leader.
In summary, if you truly aspire to be the CEO of your own life, career, and destiny embrace the principle that great leaders never hide, especially in a crisis. By being visible, engaged, and accessible, you can provide the guidance, support, and inspiration necessary to navigate challenging times and lead your teams and organisations out to the other side. Your career will thank you later.
Read more about becoming a Standout CEO here