Leading a business in 2020 has been extremely challenging. However, it seems like there are always difficult circumstances in business. From the attacks of 9/11 to the economic meltdown of 2008-10 to COVID-19, tough times surface periodically.
What separates those who do well from those who fail is often a single factor — great leadership.
How can you be a top leader in these uncertain times? Here are ideas you can use today — and in the next crisis.
Learn to Manage Well Remotely
Pandemic or not, remote work is a growing trend. Over the last five years, remote positions grew by 44%. Many top workers look for flexibility and the ability to work from home when they apply for jobs. Crises, such as disease or economic uncertainty, make remote work even more appealing to both companies and their staff.
Are you able to lead successfully from a distance? It requires excellent communication, the technology skills to use project management and video meeting tools, and the ability to engage people and help them feel successful.
Work on being very clear with employees about goals and expectations, along with project plans and timelines. The more you can do this, in person or remotely, the more practice you’ll have for future opportunities.
Also, the fact that every person manages their workload differently is magnified during remote work. Practice seeing that as a benefit, not a threat. Encourage people to work in a way that fits them best.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
When people can’t see your body language or hear your tone of voice, communication is challenging. Practice being especially clear in emails and using video meetings instead of in-person more often. You’ll learn a lot, and having the opportunity to follow up in person will help avoid misunderstandings while you’re growing.
Help your employees communicate with you more clearly as well. They should be able to define their goals in their own words, tell you how things are going, and give you a heads-up if a project is late.
This level of communication might seem overmuch under normal, in-office circumstances. However, if there’s another crisis or your company decides to make at-home work more available, the skills will be priceless.
Work Closely With Your Leadership Team
One of the things that everyone deeply needs during a difficult time is a sense of stability and routine. One person alone cannot provide that. Be sure you work closely with other leaders in your company to provide a united front and communicate the same message to everyone.
Inconsistency in leadership and messaging in tough times makes problems worse. If you’ve recently bought a business, it’s even more critical to get everyone on the same page. Strive for levelheadedness, empathy, and focused leadership.
Is it Time for a Change for You?
As a leader, you might be ready to take the next step — owning your own business. While this is a challenging economy, the truth is that you will always face obstacles. Don’t let that stop you from moving forward with your dreams!
If you’re ready to take the leap to own your own business, let us help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Contact us today to learn more!