When a crisis disrupts the usual order of things, leaders can’t settle for just dealing with what’s in front of them today. They need to immediately begin looking ahead and planning for the future to make sure they’re prepared for what comes next—even if they have no idea what shape it will take.
It may feel like a time to sit and wait, but in fact it’s a time to be proactive about the future—yours, your team’s, and your organization’s. Here’s how you can emulate the best leaders in planning through crisis.
Brainstorm. Gather the sharpest minds and most insightful thinkers in your organization to discuss what the next months and years may look like. Spend time together exploring a range of scenarios and tracking for each of them how you can move the business and its people beyond the crisis.
Discover opportunities and threats. In the discussion of each possible scenario, include a big-picture assessment of possible opportunities and threats, grounded in awareness that the crisis is changing not only your organization but also your industry and your customers.
Create certainty about priorities. You can empower people through uncertainty if you hold true to the values and priorities that drive your team’s mission and communicate those values and priorities clearly and often. When everything is shifting, people need a North Star to navigate by.
Lead with speed and agility. In unpredictable times you don’t have the luxury of playing wait and see—you must be proactive and able to move quickly and confidently in a new direction, with the willingness to pivot and make adjustments as events unfold.
Learn from the present while planning for the future. As a crisis is unfolding, you’re learning something new in every moment. Make sure the most current information and trends are reflected in your strategic planning.
Gain commitment from your people. Especially if you’re faced with moving in a new direction, your people need to fully commit to the vision and plan. That means it can’t be a top-down initiative—their voice and involvement are an important part of the process. Leadership based on collaboration and not control—trusting that people are smart and know what to do—fosters the commitment and energy your team needs to tackle the crisis and to continue a journey of growth when it’s over.
Connect vision to mission. Any new vision must meet two criteria: it must be inspiring and it must be tightly aligned with your organization’s purpose.
It’s easy in difficult times to become paralyzed by the day-to-day challenges. But it’s the leaders who think ahead with courage and vision who will achieve long-term success.
Lead from within: The best leaders are always building on what is happening today to create successful future. When crisis hits, they keep their fears to themselves but share their courage and vision with others.
#1 N A T I O N A L B E S T S E L L E R
The Leadership Gap
What Gets Between You and Your Greatness
After decades of coaching powerful executives around the world, Lolly Daskal has observed that leaders rise to their positions relying on a specific set of values and traits. But in time, every executive reaches a point when their performance suffers and failure persists. Very few understand why or how to prevent it.
Additional Reading you might enjoy:
- 12 Successful Leadership Principles That Never Grow Old
- A Leadership Manifesto: A Guide To Greatness
- How to Succeed as A New Leader
- 12 of The Most Common Lies Leaders Tell Themselves
- 4 Proven Reasons Why Intuitive Leaders Make Great Leaders
- The One Quality Every Leader Needs To Succeed
- The Deception Trap of Leadership
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Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness has become a national bestseller.