These days, you get dozens of results by searching for “leadership” and “economic crisis” on Google. The same happens when searching for “leadership” and “downsizing”. The general consensus is clear: during challenging times, individuals look to their leaders for inspiration, guidance and reassurance. But leaders are also the first to be blamed when things go wrong and people start losing their jobs.
The Telegraph suggests that the “Financial crisis calls for confident leadership”. Similarly, the Washing Post informs that a “Financial Crisis Offers a Study in Leadership Styles”.
It seems that Leadership is, yet again, at the centre of anything that is good and bad when it comes to the heart of the business. Lack of courage, reckless decision making, greed and dishonesty are some of the sins that leaders of today are said to be guilty of.
So what should leaders do in these critical times? The economic downturn is the ultimate test for those in charge and only the individuals that are most equipped with skills can maximise their chance of keeping their seats until the end of the rollercoaster ride. On the positive side, however, it is known that Leaders need not be responsible for their own demise. Through coaching and the development of self-awareness, leaders can learn how to avoid over-extending themselves and be able to make a conscious decision to not “cross the line” when compromised – the line that takes them to the unpopular side of business.
Leaders of today may not be the leaders of tomorrow. Much of the territory we are exploring today is of an unchartered nature. And perhaps, through a Darwinian lens, we may hypothesise that only the fittest, the strongest and the wisest may able to survive. We also suggest flexibility and adaptability as essential skills for effective and successful leadership.
And ultimately, of course, the building of self-awareness through coaching and development.
So, what kind of Leader will you be?
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