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Teams - 7 Essentials of Leading a Team in Turbulent Times

Duncan Brodie

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As a leader or manager you will have times when you go from strength to strength and making great progress. Chances are there will be times when you will go through some major challenges. The current economic situation is a specific example of such a challenging situation. So what are some of the essentials of leading teams in turbulent times?

Essential 1: Be honest

If you are facing or heading for turbulent times it is essential that you are honest with people. Specifically, it is vital that you explain the situation to people, what you are doing about it and what some of the consequences might be. It is challenging for a leader and manager to deal with and while others may not like the situation, they will respect you more if you are honest.

Essential 2: Communicate

Excellent communication is essential during turbulent times. You need to focus not just on telling and selling but also on listening. Remember, people want to be heard and may even have some great ideas that can help you to move forward or address one of your challenges. Make communication a priority.

Essential 3: Empathy

Managing and leading requires you to be tough but it does not mean you need to totally lack compassion. Empathy is not about being a soft touch but it is about being able to step into the shoes of the other people and seeing things from their perspective.

Essential 4: Take responsibility

If you are a leader or manager others will look to you to take responsibility, drive things forward and make things happen. Weak leadership is not something that is generally well received and people will like it even less in turbulent times. Take responsibility for the situation and make things happen.

Essential 5: Focus on results

In turbulent and challenging times it is easy to lose sight of what you are in business for and the results that the organisation is seeking to deliver. The skilled leader and manager will focus on both finding a solution to the major challenges and at the same time will ensure that the business continues to work well day to day. Keep your focus on results.

Essential 6: Focus on the long term

When times are difficult and challenging it is easy to focus all of your attention on short term decisions. While you cannot avoid making the difficult decisions such as cost cutting, make sure that the decisions that you are taking are in the best interests of the organisation in the long term. Training is often one of the first areas to chop but it may be that people need more training to make the necessary changes.

Essential 7: Look after yourself

Everyone will expect you to lead and manage and support others. At the same time you are human and need to take care of yourself if you are to be at your best. This might involve taking regular exercise or even having your own coach or mentor that you can talk things through.

Bottom Line - Leading and managing in turbulent times is a major challenge. So what do you need to do to be at your best?

Duncan Brodie of Goals and Achievements (G&A) works with individuals, teams and organisations to develop their management and leadership capability.

With 25 years business experience in a range of sectors, he understands first hand the real challenges of managing and leading in the demanding business world.

You can sign up for his free e-course and newsletter at


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