Whether you've been brought on board to right the ship or your company is going through a bad patch, as a leader it's incumbent upon you to fix the situation. Though there is no perfect recipe and every circumstance is different with its own particular set of challenges, by embracing these six leadership qualities you will be well on your way to success.
As a leader, people are going to look to you to appear calm and collected in times of great stress. Even if you feel panicky inside—and it’s a normal response in difficult situations—one of the most important leadership qualities is being able to keep a cool head.
The ability to gain perspective is another one of the most important leadership qualities you must adopt. A critical part of this is absorbing information efficiently and finding out exactly what the problem is. The first step in righting the ship is being open to what is going wrong and forming a plan with as much information and perspective as possible.
Be Ruthless When Needed
Often the reason a company is in trouble is because something is being clung to for the wrong reasons. Sometimes drastic changes need to be made, such as axing projects that just aren’t coming together. You are the person at the top and it ultimately falls to you to take the necessary action. Being ruthless for its own sake is not necessarily a good thing, but being able to make hard choices when they’re the right ones is.
Surround Yourself with Talent
However good a leader you may be, great leaders know the key to success is multiplying their effectiveness by surrounding themselves with talented staff. Know when to make changes or shuffle people around to get the most out of them. Often knowing how to put the right people in the right positions and empowering them to do what they do best is the difference between a company that is struggling and one that is thriving.
Consider Bold Changes
When things are not going well, there is a tendency to raise the drawbridge and be conservative in your approach. Though this may be a natural reaction, it may also be the wrong one, and your job is to consider all strategies. Junior people may be reluctant to stick their neck out, so create an environment where brainstorming is encouraged to unlock everyone's potential. Bold changes may or may not be advisable, but a good leader knows to evaluate all possibilities.
In high-risk situations when a company might go under, being able to project confidence in a course of action is paramount among leadership qualities. That is part of what true leadership is all about. Once you have decided on a course of action, show your confidence in that decision moving forward. Equally, if a strategy doesn’t pan out and a course correction is required, be upfront about it and continue to project confidence.