Business leaders tend to be optimists by nature. They kind of have to be if you think about it. Nobody can just waltz into business, expecting the worst to be just around the corner. That would be crippling from a psychological perspective, and perhaps self-fulfilling. No, entrepreneurs and business leaders tend to be an optimistic lot. Its because they actually believe their visions will come to fruition – they have to.
Having said that, that CEO confidence may not be shared by the rest of the management team. Heck, even the staff themselves might begin to grumble and lose confidence. The trick for leaders is to make sure that they retain that trust going forward, even if there is an economic downturn. Losing your cool in these situations is a recipe for disaster.
So what leadership strategies can CEOs employ when their businesses are on the rocks? Let’s find out.
- Practice The 80 Percent Rule
If your business is in a rut, it’s often because of a deficit of ideas. Ideas are what drive businesses forward and help them to remain competitive. The problem is that some companies stifle creative thinking. There isn’t a forum in which the ideas of the many can be heard. In the most top-down organisation, the company is often run by just a handful of people.
Successful leaders listen to all the ideas that come from their team. 80 percent of them won’t be all that useful. But a good 20 percent of them probably will be. These are the ideas that you want to take on board.
- Don’t Wait To Fix What’s Broken
Leaders who act immediately and decisively inspire confidence. But great leaders do more than that. By fixing something that’s broken immediately shows that you have deep integrity as a business leader. And this is something that can resonate with other management members and workers. In fact, this is how positive company cultures get started. It’s the enthusiasm and a can-do attitude of those in leadership roles that emanate throughout the entire company.
- Promote Those Who Are Honest
In a business that is struggling, nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news. But all too often, staff in failing companies will avoid telling it like it is.
But that’s bad news for many reasons. First, it shows that your team feels like they can’t be open about the real state of the company, perhaps because of their personal targets. And second, you don’t build up a clear picture of how the company is performing and what’s wrong with what you’re doing right now. The trick is to listen, and only then will you be able to implement change.
- Deal With Anxiety Head On
When the future is uncertain, whole teams can quickly become dysfunctional. That’s why, as a leader, you have to act quickly. There will be many people in your team who are either scared or angry or both. You need to be a role model for calm. Be ruthlessly matter of fact, so that you and your team can continue to get the job done.