The past one-and-a-half years have been a lesson in life's uncertainty and precariousness. Individuals have had to adapt to accommodate their new reality in all spheres - schools switched to e-learning, families coped with nationwide lockdowns, and businesses globally transitioned to remote work.
In such unprecedented times, employees naturally turned to their leaders for support and direction. While our previous blog post explored how effective leaders could support their team's mental health, it is equally vital to restructure and reorganise business practices to carve a path through the uncertainty.
Here are some ways you as a leader can lead effectively through uncertainty:
Embrace Adaptive Leadership
Amid a global health and economic crisis, you can't always expect to stick to your regular 9 - 5 business routine! Have honest, open conversations with your team and your clients, and figure out which business practices you can stick to and which ones can be discarded or modified.
Don't be afraid to embrace new technology! Innovators are making the best out of the pandemic and are constantly coming up with new apps and features. These might just be the business solutions you need!
As has been the case in many countries (especially with the threat of the Delta variant), you might find your business moving from work from home to work from the office and back! Remember that each new situation requires new leadership approaches - what worked for the first lockdown might not work for the second.
Rally employees together
You're not the only one facing the uncertainty - so is the rest of your team. Your role as an effective leader is to help them find their purpose and reestablish the importance and identity of the business so they remain committed to their work.
During uncertainty, work can keep employees focused and provide them with a sense of stability. Reinforce this by creating a mantra of how your organization and its people will re-emerge from this pandemic stronger than ever.
It may go without saying, but it's easy for a person to feel isolated during lockdowns. Organise team-building activities or workshops so that your team knows they can count on each other and you to share their concerns openly.
Ask for help
As a leader, you may feel like your team's and business' fate rests entirely on your shoulders. This worry might be exacerbated because although you say that the situation will improve, you don't know when it will. The pandemic's unpredictability affects all aspects of business planning.
Don't be afraid to ask for help! Rely on your team for their support. If you're having trouble with business planning, reach out to your network and speak to people from other industries to get a more accurate assessment of the situation.
Remember that you don't have to have all of the answers! It would make you a stronger and more humble leader to admit your own apprehension. It's okay to fail - keep trying new business solutions until you find the one that works for your team.