How to be a leader in today's times
In the midst of a global pandemic and impending recession, it may not feel intuitive to think about taking charge, inspiring others, and affecting change. However, strong leadership in times of crisis is essential for building a brighter future.
Take Roy and Walt Disney, for example – the pair created Walt Disney Productions on the eve of the Great Depression. There’s also Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who launched Microsoft a few days after the 1973-1975 recession. Uncertainty and instability didn’t stop these individuals from striving for excellence – and business professionals today are still inspired by their efforts.
In turbulent times, you can choose to either recoil or rise up. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a manager, or an executive, read on to learn how you can demonstrate the same kind of leadership that Bill Gates and Walt Disney did when faced with similar circumstances.
The inner workings of a business often reflect external conditions, which means that instability – economic, political, or otherwise – can cause panic within the workplace. Hearsay, rumors, and workplace politics can intensify during these times, making it difficult for employees to trust one another and perform at an optimum level.
While you can’t control external circumstances, you can control how you respond to them by reinforcing your company’s purpose and values. Rallying your colleagues around a collective cause creates a sense of stability in the workplace and encourages those around you to remain determined and motivated.
Focusing on your company’s mission statement also ensures that you make the right decisions despite uncertainty. While you may not have the resources and data you’d like, your values can help you make informed decisions that best benefit the business as well as those around you.
Effective leadership isn’t just about managing crisis situations – it also involves finding solutions. After graduating from an MBA program, it is inevitable that you will encounter challenges in the workplace, but leaders will take these challenges as opportunities to learn and develop.
When difficult questions arise, we are more likely to find innovative answers. Use your creativity to create new products, services, or solutions and use your leadership skills to bring them to life. It’s also important for leaders to closely examine the current crisis and decipher what measures must be put in place to better prepare the company for future challenges.
As you’ll learn in business courses, risk-taking is a necessary prerequisite to success. Bill Gates himself said that “to win big, you sometimes have to take big risks.”
In unstable times, when the future is uncertain, nearly every decision comes with some degree of risk. However, that doesn’t mean that you should stay stagnant and wait until troubles pass. It’s important to gather the most accurate information you can, acknowledge the fact that perfect decisions are impossible, and move forward.
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