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A leader is required

Noa Even Tsur, Executive Search Expert and Consultant | 16.07.2020

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, 76% of employees trust their CEO to lead on change rather than waiting for the government to impose it, and 71% of employees agree it’s critically important for their CEO to respond to challenging times. according to the survey, in terms of trusting institutions for doing what's right, most people trust more their employer to do the right thing for them rather than the government or the media.

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, 76% of employees trust their CEO to lead on change rather than waiting for the government to impose it, and 71% of employees agree it’s critically important for their CEO to respond to challenging times. according to the survey, in terms of trusting institutions for doing what's right, most people trust more their employer to do the right thing for them rather than the government or the media.

As a Leader, you must realize it is even more critical doing the right things in times of uncertainty. We face a new and unknown reality, great leaders will rise to the circumstance and highlight their abilities and worth, while others might fall.

Here are some things to consider doing inbound when you lead in the crisis and the new uncertain normal:

Remind yourself about your purpose and your guiding principles. Emphasizing the purpose will help you gain confidence and clarify your business intentions to your employees and stakeholders, which are eager to hear their leader. Consider that talking about the long-term strategies of the company will not be effective when people are emotionally influenced by the crisis. You may benefit if you start with more basic elements and provide clear guidance on business-critical priorities that everyone can rally on and contribute to. In times of crisis, employees, customers, and investors will gravitate toward organizations whose purpose reflects their personal values.

Work tightly with your partners. As you need to make some tough decisions, keep your senior executives close and make sure each of them gives you the accurate state of their area of responsibilities; hear your VPHR about the employee's stresses, know your numbers from your CFO, let your COO bring operational ideas for adapting to the new reality, etc.

Insist on open communication as early and often as you can. Fight the typical human reaction that makes you want to keep your head down and stay silent in times of crisis. You are the leader and by not communicating you may appear uncaring or unrealistic. Be empathetic and conduct warm communication. Without information, your employees might assume the worst. Give people opportunities to safely express their emotions as they are seeking not only for answers but also want to feel connected and protected.

Empower the right teams. Work beyond the urge of limiting authority and tightening control. Let your team leaders with the right temperament and character do what they came to do - lead. They have the ability to be close to their employees and know exactly what's going on, as it is vital for the ability to make thoughtful and swift decisions through the crisis.

Unite your people. Hard times remind us of the importance of a human community. As a leader, you can pull your employees closer to the company by strengthening what makes them a unique group. By doing that you can help energize them towards joint actions and purpose, and make them genuinely trust they are a part of an organization that can adapt to change.

Your employees look upon you and trust you leading them to safe shore. As you navigate an uncertain road today, your approach now will inform the way you lead tomorrow. The ability to understand your value in times of crisis and take the correct inbound actions will allow the resilience you need in order not only to survive but thrive.

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