12 Leadership Skills Required during the Tough Times

12 Leadership Skills Required during the Tough Times

12 Leadership Skills Required during the Tough Times

As if the world wasn’t VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) enough, add in a global virus to the mix and all leaders are having their skills and experience tested to the max.  When leading and managing through Change and Uncertainty  leaders are encouraged to do more of what they would normally do, so here are some of the skills and competencies they can rely on and develop during challenging times:

1. Being Emotionally Intelligent  is one of the most valuable leadership skills:  Being self-aware, able to control emotions, be resilient, and understand others emotions and motivators in order to provide a measured and appropriate response

2. Being Confident and Assertive:  Even though the majority of male CEOs are still over 6 feet, height shouldn’t preclude a male or female leader appearing confident and commanding respect if he/she has good posture, is well-dressed, displays open body language, and doesn’t keep apologising.  In times of crisis people want to be led by strong leaders

3. Being organised:  The basic courtesy of turning up for meetings on time and not cancelling meetings, as well as having the right documents to hand, whilst demonstrating knowledge, all help to convey leadership presence and the impression of being in control

4. Being decisive:  Strong Leadership Judgment is key during challenging times, being able to make the right decision in a timely manner, backed up by the right evidence.  A strong leader isn’t afraid to make the tough calls and stand by them

5. Being Inspirational: Being a role model during times of crisis, instilling confidence in people and having the ability to identify and communicate a strong vision with clear direction, realistic stretch goals and responsibilities for team members in order to bring people on the ‘journey’, in particular during times of change and uncertainty

6. Being motivational: Rallying teams around a common cause builds unity and enables team members to see how they can contribute to the organizations’ success and ability to cope under pressure

7. Being Strategic:  being able to see beyond the fire-fighting  and daily grind to identify future trends and opportunities, as well as weaknesses and threats, being agile to be able to review strategies, respond quickly and regroup

8. Leading by Example: Words and actions must be reflective of the organizations’ values and position, in particular honesty and integrity, in order to create a strong culture and feeling of safety

9. Demonstrating Authentic Leadership and showing humility create buy-in from teams; being accessible and approachable during difficult times is important to ally fears team members and stakeholders may have

10. Communication:  Being able to  ‘walk the talk’ and ‘talk the talk’ with clear, strong messages which involve the team, convey the vision and strategy and reinforce organizational values.  And actively listening to the experts, as well as team members or key stakeholder concerns

11. Promoting a  ‘Can do’ Attitude:  The way a leader conveys their attitude has a very powerful impact on their team; being mindful that emotions are also infectious, it is important to come across as enthusiastic, action oriented, always aiming high to deliver key results, even in volatile situations

12. Empowering Teams:  Asking team members to take the initiative and accountability for solving problems further bolsters team support for the leader and in the long run aids talent management and succession planning

By displaying the leadership characteristics, behaviours and styles above, leaders can maintain and build the trust of their teams and key stakeholders.  During crises, Executive Coaching and Leadership Mentoring can assist in addressing any gaps in skills or competencies the leader may have, whilst ensuring he or she doesn’t feel that it's too lonely at the top.


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