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How to Prepare for a Recession and Remain in Executive Leadership

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Navigating uncertain economic times is a challenge for any leader, especially if it's your first time in a management role. When there are visible signs of a recession and significant shifts in the economy, it's essential to know how to protect your career and maintain leadership momentum in your team.

In a changing economy, leading well is crucial for three reasons:

  • Your team members feel uncertain and confused and look to you for certainty and direction
  • Your colleagues are feeling the uncertainty as well and you are in a position to lead by example
  • Your senior leaders will look to you for direction in making strategic decisions with less information

To sustain executive leadership amidst an unpredictable economy, here are three practical approaches; a set of ABC's for maintaining your leadership position during economic uncertainty:

1. Align Strategy and Goals

In times of economic uncertainty, it is even more crucial for organizations to align their strategy with their goals. With the shifts in the economy and the marketplace, the C-suite leadership team will be primarily concerned with the strategic direction of the company. As a senior leader, it is important to position yourself in these strategic direction discussions to contribute recommendations and solutions to solve real-time problems for the executive leadership team. Once the clarity of the strategic direction is established, communicate and translate it into goals and objectives for your teams.

It would be wise for communications to reach at all levels of management to create alignment with the goals and strategy of the business. Provide clarity and certainty to direct reports and teams of individual groups of functional teams. This helps in steadying the pulse of the company, measuring success, making progress, and making necessary course corrections. With the changing times and greater uncertainty than previous times, maintaining momentum and aligning strategy with goals is key to executive leadership.

2. Bolster Trust and Growth

The second strategy to maintain leadership momentum is to bolster trust and growth within your team. Trust is the foundation of team building, and just one team member who does not trust your leadership or refuses to work with you can negatively impact the productivity of the entire team. Building trust within a team requires creating an environment of transparency where everyone shares their vulnerabilities and roadblocks. By sharing and addressing vulnerabilities, you can consolidate your team and increase their trust in your leadership.

Creating an environment that allows your team to succeed with accountability and clear metrics towards success is essential. This allows everyone to understand their roles and responsibilities while also ensuring that there are clear goals to aim for. Consolidating resources to support your team is also crucial to their growth and success. Growth should not only be measured in financial terms but also in the productivity of the team, their loyalty to the mission, and having processes in place for communication, transparency, and accountability.

Bolstering trust and growth within your team will help you succeed and position yourself as a senior leader. In uncertain times, it is critical to focus on creating an environment of trust and growth, leading to higher levels of leadership. By achieving this, you can maintain your leadership momentum and help your team succeed even during economic shifts.

3. Convey Certainty

Maintaining leadership momentum requires the ability to convey certainty, the third strategy. Leaders must exhibit composure and centeredness while conveying calmness and confidence to their teams in times of uncertainty. This is critical, as team members seek direction and certainty during such times. It is essential for leaders to be self-governed, exhibiting self-mastery by managing their emotions while making decisions with less information. Even when faced with decisions that are not entirely certain, leaders must remain calm and composed while projecting confidence to their team members.

By conveying certainty, leaders create an environment of success for their teams, providing the creativity and poise needed to consolidate resources and establish a culture of transparency. Consequently, conveying certainty is a critical attribute of successful leaders, particularly in uncertain times, as it helps them maintain momentum and achieve success. Leaders must project certainty to their team members to provide direction and the confidence needed to thrive in a challenging business environment.

Navigating through uncertain economic times is an inevitable challenge for any leader, especially those in their first management roles. To maintain momentum and ensure success, leaders must align their strategies and goals, bolster trust and growth within their team, and convey certainty.

The three strategies outlined in this article provide practical approaches for leaders to position themselves as senior leaders and succeed even during economic shifts. By aligning strategies with goals, building trust and growth, and projecting certainty, leaders can create an environment of success for their teams, leading to higher levels of productivity, loyalty, and accountability. As a result, leaders who focus on these strategies will maintain their leadership momentum, help their teams thrive, and protect their careers even in uncertain economic times.

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© Mastery Insights Inc. All Rights Reserved