Top 5 Strategies to Lead during Uncertain Times

Editorial Team

Strategies that have a futuristic approach help companies sail through the tough times. Uncertainty is the only certainty and strategic management needs to be revised from time to time. During such phases, focusing on these strategies can help leaders see a clearer picture for the organisation.

While we see organisations as a macro entity, it is imperative to never forget that people are at the back and forth of every business that exists. But fear alone cannot drive success. In fact, many instances of uncertainty in the past have created some of the most competent leaders we know of today. Not having fear overwhelm leaders makes them understand that possibility is the other side of this coin.

  • The comfort of discomfort
    As leaders, it is only natural that you wish to believe that everything is under control. However, sometimes life throws its curve balls and makes you believe that it is not always the case. Hence, there needs to be a balance between knowing that a lot of things are under your control, but some things will not be. This is also called creative leadership. Loosening up a little during uncertain times also helps your employees know that there is light at the end of the tunnel.


  • Leading with empathy
    As the saying goes, to err is human. When leaders are honest about their shortcomings, employees understand. It also gives them power to be honest about themselves. When empathy comes from the top, employees will give back the same in return. The pandemic has shown that organisations which did not lay off their employees during that time, have come up to be stronger, despite many companies having salary cuts. This is because the time was uncertain for everyone, but some leaders chose to be honest about it.


  • Clear communication with employees
    There are 3 C’s for organizational communication – clear, consistent, and correct. A clear communication does not make your employees second guess what they hear. When messages are consistent about both positive outcomes as well as shortcomings, employees feel a sense of confidence about working in your organization. And lastly, it is extremely crucial that the information which they are getting is verified and comes from a trustworthy source.


  • Avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach
    Uncertainty is not quantifiable. Even the most highly competent leaders cannot gauge how long a crisis can last. Hence, organizational designs should go through agile innovations in order to know what works the best for them. That includes experimenting with a variety of ways, learning and unlearning old methods of running an organization, and being both restrictive and expansive when it comes to applying management strategies.


  • Explaining the “why” to your employees
    The graph of progress is not linear. Changes are inevitable, and leaders know that. When having an organizational shift, it is of utmost importance that your employees trust your decisions. That happens when you explain the “why” behind every move you make that impacts their lives. Crises are the truest tests of how an organization behaves. As leaders, understand that your employees need to make a sense of the changes around them. While letting them know about the bad news, also tell them that no crisis is permanent. Like everything else, a crisis too passes when handled with efficiency and empathy.

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