… if I knew what 2023 was going to be like for small businesses, I’ll tell you this now: driving off into the sunset a la Thelma and Louise might’a been a preferred option [lol].
For most people.
But not me.
Y’see I’ve always been down for a challenge [or two, or three. Or, like, an economic downturn right on top of having just weathered the pandemic and its associated impacts on my business].
The Digital Picnic? Well, we’re headed up by an organisational leader [it me 👋] with almost frustrating levels of optimism, as well as an abundance of grit [cheers, 1980’s foster care system. lol] and resilience.
Leading a team through times of change [i.e my having stepped into the role of CEO this year] admittedly felt a little daunting, especially when faced with uncertainty. I mean, I only had to look at our P&L statement around December, 2022 as well as casting my eyes to what I knew was ahead for 2023 to say to my husband, “of all the years I could have stepped into the role of CEO, I have picked the toughest year”.
However, I firmly believe that resilient leadership can make all the difference. In this blog post, I’ll share my personal insights on how to navigate uncertainty with resilience and provide practical strategies for leading your team through challenging times [because lawd knows I have the lived experience of having done that this year, ha!].
… and it’s only June.
Embrace open and transparent communication
During times of change, open and transparent communication becomes even more crucial. Be honest with your team about the challenges and uncertainties you face as a leader. Share the vision and direction, providing regular updates and opportunities for feedback. This fosters a sense of trust and encourages your team to navigate uncertainty with resilience.
Create a culture of adaptability
Encourage your team to embrace change and adapt to new circumstances. Foster a growth mindset by highlighting the opportunities that change can bring. Create an environment where innovation and creative problem-solving are valued. By cultivating adaptability, your team will be better equipped to face uncertainty head-on.
Lead by example
As a leader, your actions speak louder than words. Demonstrate resilience by remaining composed and positive during challenging times. Show your team that you are willing to roll up your sleeves and work alongside them. Leading by example inspires your team to face uncertainty with confidence and determination.
Foster emotional wellbeing
Change can be emotionally taxing, so prioritise your team’s emotional wellbeing. Encourage open dialogue and provide a safe space for team members to express their concerns and fears. Offer support and resources for managing stress and anxiety. By acknowledging and addressing emotional needs, you build a resilient team that can weather any storm.
Focus on strengths and opportunities
During times of uncertainty, it’s easy to get caught up in the negatives. Instead, encourage your team to focus on their strengths and the opportunities that arise from change. Help them identify areas where they can excel and grow. By shifting the perspective from challenges to possibilities, you empower your team to overcome uncertainty with resilience.
Provide clear direction
In times of change, clarity is key. Provide your team with a clear sense of direction and purpose. Set realistic goals and communicate the steps needed to achieve them. Break down larger objectives into smaller milestones to maintain motivation and build momentum. Clear direction gives your team a sense of stability amidst uncertainty.
Celebrate the wins, big and small
Recognise and celebrate both individual and team accomplishments, no matter how small. By acknowledging progress and successes, you create a positive and resilient atmosphere. Celebrating wins boosts morale, inspires your team to keep pushing forward, and helps them stay motivated in the face of uncertainty.
Leading in times of change requires resilience, adaptability, and a focus on open communication. As a leader, you have the power to navigate uncertainty and guide your team through challenging times. By embracing these strategies and fostering a resilient mindset, you can help your team thrive, even in the face of uncertainty. Remember, change is an opportunity for growth, and with your steadfast leadership … your team can emerge stronger than ever.
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