Leadership in troubled times


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Leadership in troubled times

We have heard it said so many times, but “who saw this coming”?  So far 2020 has brought us bushfires, floods and now COVID-19.  Things have definitely changed for us all in some way over the past 4-5 months.

As leaders, we need to adapt and change as well.  In these times, hands-on, proactive, strong leaders need to stand up and show leadership by taking up the baton and guiding their team through.

What sort of leader are you? 

It is a good time right now to think about what sort of leader you are.

Reactive Leader                                     Proactive Leader

Unprepared                                             Constantly mapping scenarios

Unsure                                                      Know what steps to take

Respond poorly                                      Act quickly and decisively

Recover slowly                                        Recover rapidly

Domineering                                            Collaborative

A proactive leader instils confidence and direction into the future of the business and the team, whilst a reactive leader removes the confidence and offers no direction, hence enhancing the panic.

Which one are you or which one would you like to be?

Becoming a proactive leader:

To be a proactive leader, you need to ensure that you concentrate on the way forward and not get caught up in the “white noise” that surrounds these times via mainstream media and social media. Whilst this is sometimes difficult, you need to be the calming effect.  By this, I mean remove the panic, speak in a calm voice, (slowly and deliberately using simple terms), get the facts rather than get caught up with the hype, and instead look to become the trusted source of the facts.

Overall, you will need to always have a positive mindset and learn how to calm yourself in all situations by using techniques such as:
–  breathing exercises;
–  practising mind control;  and
–  taking the time to find that calm space before you meet with your team.

Be mindful that your team is constantly searching for a way forward, and they are relying on you for positivity.  Therefore, to be a good leader, you need to portray confidence, be forthright and always practise control (even if inside this isn’t the case).  Part of this control involves being accountable, responsible and most importantly showing genuine empathy for your team and fellow colleagues.

A leader in troubled times:

When facing troubled times, leaders need to make it easy to do business and operate within the current environment.  You need to remove the red tape and intricate structures by allowing your team and your clients to work together in a more harmonious way. Remember, we are in uncharted times and it affects everyone in different ways.

To be an effective leader in troubled times, you need to ensure that you have your priorities right by:

  • Making sure you look after yourself and that you remain safe and well (as in an aircraft your oxygen mask first)
  • Make sure your family are safe (both personal and work)
  • Help and assist your clients and referrers by being compassionate
  • Offer help in the general community, both where you work and where you live
  • Create useful ideologies

When communicating remember the following:

–   only speak if you have something constructive to say and make it brief;
–   remember the key to communicating clearly is to “make me laugh”, “make me cry”, “make me surprised”.  If you can communicate in this fashion you will captivate your audience;
–   use clarity by removing the fluff, only use sticky information (the facts);
–   be mindful of your language;
–   don’t encourage fear, the use of positive motivating language is the way;
–   use simple words to deliver a clear message.

Above all, stay safe, be healthy and be there and available for your team and colleagues.

Be that shining light they need in times of crisis and in normal times (whatever that will be).

Become the leader that can be the trusted source of the truth and relied upon in the chaos of the situation.


dVT Group is a business advisory firm that specialise in business turnaround, insolvency (both corporate and personal), business valuations and business strategy support.   Please contact us should you require any assistance in these areas on 9633 3333 or by email mail@dvtgroup.com.au.