The importance of resilient leadership in times of uncertainty and upheaval

The working world is beginning to get used to a COVID-19 reality, which involves a great deal of uncertainty, more remote working conditions and the potential for constant change. Looking at those businesses that continue to thrive – as opposed to those simply surviving, or worse – there is often one factor in common; resilient leadership. But what does that look like in practice?

Adapting and overcoming

Perhaps the biggest challenge here has been the need for business leaders to move organisations onto a remote working footing. Clear and confident decision making about working from home and a safe return to work has proven to be essential. Just as important is transparency and ensuring that business decisions that affect staff are being communicated in an honest and timely way. Understanding and empathy have also proven key to resilient leaders looking to take businesses in a new direction and ensure staff remain engaged and motivated too.

Focusing on innovation

Recent months have seen some income streams slow to a trickle and others come to an abrupt halt. The most resilient leaders have looked to innovation to enable their organisations to evolve in order to survive. Key to this is looking for ways that revenue and productivity can be maintained even when structures are changing. What changes could be made within the business to help ensure sustainability and relevance no matter what happens to the economy? This may involve taking new perspectives on what the business can produce or integrating technology to change the way that this is done.

Giving staff the freedom to manage themselves

This doesn’t mean taking a hands-off approach but acknowledging that many people now have additional responsibilities to consider. That could be full time childcare, home schooling or looking after a very sick relative. This has meant a recalibration of what people management means – ensuring that business goals and productivity levels are being maintained while allowing staff more flexibility to do this while working around their commitments.

Prioritising mental health

Stress and anxiety levels have been high almost across the board in recent months, this is created by uncertainty and instability as well as the potential for loss, both personal and financial. The most resilient leaders are making space for this within the business and putting infrastructure in place to provide support and guidance so that mental health is a priority for everyone

Resilient leadership is essential in troubled times and can be the key to surviving upheaval and uncertainty.