A Leaders Guide for Thriving in Today’s Challenging Times

Today’s leaders are faced with business challenges as tough as any over the past 35 plus years. In order to provide the needed leadership for their organization’s success leaders today need to demonstrate some very fundamental leadership skills and behaviors.

To date, we have reviewed six fundamentals:

1 – Work Hard (and Smart) and Perform?
2 – Radiate Confidence and Optimism?
3 – Enlist and Enroll vs. Command and Control?
4 – Drive Change and Innovation
5 – Foster Cooperation and Collaboration
6 – Sharpen the Saw – Your Saw

In this e-newsletter, the Harvesters present the 7th fundamental behavior that “Growing Forward Leaders” must model for their team during challenging times. Most often the “root” cause of an organization’s success or failure can be attributed to the leader of the organization and how they present themselves to their people.

Remember: “It all starts and ends with you, the leader.”

Our 7th fundamental focuses on perhaps the most critical fundamental and skill set of all: COMMUNICATION. Yes, communication. Sound familiar? Just think of some of the situations you have encountered that were a direct result of poor, inconsistent, misunderstood or plainly NOT communicated very well or not communicated at all.

Has this ever happen with you or with others within your organization? You bet it has.

OK, now let’s review fundamental #7:
Communicate and Communicate Some More

Tips for Leaders on Communicating During Turbulent Times

  • Understand that communication is critical when people are unsettled. Employees need their leaders’ presence, and their effective ability to communicate.
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  • Leaders should speak openly to build trust and radiate hope to revitalize sagging morale.
  • Growing Forward Leaders need to work continuously on improving their communication processes, including written, oral, contextual, intuitive and interpersonal.

Practice These “Best Practice” Communication Techniques: 

Trust in Your Informal Channels

  • Use open doors to gather information on what’s actually happening (or not happening).
  • “Shop Talk” is really quite accurate; listen carefully.

Conversations Make a Difference

  • Face-to-face communications play a crucial role in times of uncertainty and change.
  • Speak straight.
  • LISTEN generously. Practice ACTIVE listening skills

More is ALWAYS Better

  • In times of crisis, rumors will abound anyway. Why not make them the right rumors?
  • Communication and more communication is what sells management initiatives.
  • The cost of not communicating is disaffection, anger and the loss of trust.
  • If they’re “not getting it” don’t just “tell them harder.”
  • Use asking as part of your communications.
  • Display a willingness to address challenging questions.
  • Once again LISTEN and listen carefully.
  • Respond quickly to sensitive topics.

Growing Forward Leaders Should Stay Close:

  • Get out there and find out what’s being said, heard and forwarded. Conduct one- on-one, small group and some town hall meetings. GET OUT THERE.
  • Be seen as a person who understands what’s happening and who is cognizant of other’s feelings. BE SEEN and EMPATHETIC.
  • Be seen and understood as a leader who doesn’t necessarily have all of the answers, but who is willing to LISTEN and LEARN.
  • Always tell the truth. Don’t hide the truth and sugar coat bad news. TELL IT LIKE IT IS.

Remember, “Growing Forward Leaders” need to over communicate and frequently communicate in these challenging times. Let your people know exactly what the situation is and what needs to be done.

Ask for their help.
If they truly believe and trust their leader (through effective communication) your people can “handle the truth.” Once they get over it, they will pitch in and be willing to sacrifice in the short-term for the greater good.

Remember that you and your organization have one heck of a lot of potential. Especially if you – the Growing Forward Leader – practices this fundamental:

Communicate and Communicate Some More If you would like to learn more about becoming a Growing Forward Leader please contact us.

– Harvester Bill

Bill Arman

worked for and helped grow one of the biggest landscape outfits in the country. He’s seen how the big boys do it, how their systems and structures work. So his know-how is rooted in recruiting, hiring, training and growing great people—that along with quality assurance. Bill, alone, has gone on 15,000 quality site visits in his career. Nobody else has that, not that we know of anyway. He received Lawn and Landscape/ Bayer Environmental Science's 2006 Leadership Award. Read Bill's full bio.