The last two years have been engulfed with uncertainty. We lived through one of the greatest calamities of our time. Organizations were forced to pivot and industries were shaken to their core.
If you’re wondering how to navigate a new business landscape and meet unexpected leadership demands, it only happens with a renewed commitment to visionary leadership.
As a thought leader and advisor to leaders around the world, I want to share a few insights with leaders who aim to navigate and recover from unprecedented times.
1. Never allow fear to guide leadership decisions
When the global pandemic started many business leaders and entrepreneurs feared a daunting future as the world came to a grinding halt. According to Forbes, hundreds of businesses across the country and around the world were decimated.
As a consultant, I was inundated with requests from leaders all around the world in total shock and complete panic. Many reached out for wisdom, consultation, and advice on how to navigate a time of great crisis. The fear and see the stress was palpable.
In a study from Yale School of Management, 78.7% of small businesses reported the pandemic has had a negative impact on their business. The same study reveals that 34.2% of businesses view the impact as large while 44.5% say the impact has been moderate.
“In times of adversity, organizations need leaders who can stay calm, remain sober and provide hope.”
Businesses have suffered great hardships as they navigated a precarious business climate. At the time I told my clients: “Don’t allow fear to guide your leadership.” In times of adversity, organizations need leaders who can stay calm, remain sober and provide hope. Uncertain times are inevitable, but leaders can exemplify silent strength and courage as they face the days ahead.
2. Cultivate agility and the ability to pivot
Learn how to pivot – remain flexible about the future. At the onset of the pandemic, it was fascinating to witness the creativity and innovation of leaders across the world. Some brick-and-mortar businesses were forced to close their doors and pivot to online retail. Factories pivoted to create personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks and sanitizers.
Ultimately, I saw entrepreneurs shift strategies and do whatever it took to survive. Economic and public health shocks have a way of leveling the playing field. Before the pandemic, companies studied competitors, fought for dominance, and aimed to disrupt industries. However, when an entire ecosystem is shaken to its core, competition takes a backseat to conservation.
The ability to pivot is one of the greatest skills a leader can possess. Don’t fall in love with ideas. Instead, fall in love with innovation – it is what will empower and preserve you; and deliver the competitive advantage necessary to remain viable.
3. Remain committed to your core values and principles
Stay committed to your core values and principles. Even in the midst of a predicament, you cannot afford to compromise your convictions. Pressure has a way of exposing principles or lack thereof.
In retrospect, I was encouraged by leaders who exemplified ethics and communicated them effectively. These organizations survived the pandemic with their core values intact. In contrast, I noticed leaders who lacked integrity and the erosion of organizations as a result.
“Every problem is pregnant with wisdom, insights, and solutions that facilitate growth, development, and mastery.”
Difficult times will always reveal your fortitude, foundation, and focus. While most people see adversity as a bad thing, I see it as a gift that unlocks our capacity for greatness. Without it, we would live conformed to old cycles and seasons. Every problem is pregnant with wisdom, insights, and solutions that facilitate growth, development, and mastery.
4. Lead with vision
Amid the pandemic, I delivered a keynote speech where I spoke at length about the power of vision. I have lived through a plethora of personal crises. I have also helped leaders around the world navigate them.
I believe in inspiration and motivation. However, I also know a dilemma demands empowered leadership; and that requires vision.
How was I able to remain so calm and optimistic under pressure? I am a futurist and I see a world of unlimited possibilities and opportunities. Every great leader must possess this same level of vision.
Ultimately, vision is not only the ability to see but to create forthcoming realities. The world needs visionary leadership now more than ever.
Jamelle Sanders is the CEO of Jamelle Sanders International. Jamelle is committed to empowering entrepreneurs and leaders to live up to their true potential and to profit wildly in their businesses. Jamelle is a life coach, author, leading empowerment specialist and highly respected thought leader. Jamelle has successfully empowered leaders and entrepreneurs around the world to succeed in business and in life. Connect with @JamelleSanders on Twitter.
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