The Ledger No. 43: Leading Through Change & Uncertainty

March 30, 2022 Sarah Dameron

good leader managing team through change and uncertainty

Welcome to The Ledger where we sum up the latest finance and accounting news and trends for you. On this week’s entry, we’re diving into the topic of leading your team through change and uncertainty and why that begins at the top. Read on to explore how to lead through uncertainty, how to navigate these unpredictable times as a manager, four tactics for effective leadership and how to lead an exhausted workforce.

leading through change & uncertainty Ledger articles

Leading Through a State of Constant Change

Buzz words like resilience, adapt and pivot have never rung more true than over the past two years. The continual influx of change has become part of our daily routine, but what happens when the lines between home and work start to blur? It’s easy to find coping mechanisms that help us manage the day-to-day rush – but it’s easier to live in the moment than it is to force normalcy. Here are a few tips to you can live by:

  • Find joy in the little things. Stop looking for big wins and instead look for small wins – this helps you tackle the emotional stress that comes with uncertainty.

  • Give it your best shot. It’s easy to feel defeated when you feel things are out of your control. Still, in everything you do, give it your all.

  • Maximize opportunities when you can. What’s available for you to leverage today? Stop thinking about chances in the future and instead maximize what resources and tools you have at your disposal.

To learn more about how to start leading through change & uncertainty, read the full article on forbes.com.

Managing Your Work Team: Leading Through Uncertainty

What does a company need now more than ever during an ongoing crisis? Strong leadership. Keep in mind, guiding your team through unprecedented times won’t be easy, but it can ensure that you will come out on top. Here’s how:

  • Be transparent with your team and brand. You don’t have to overshare. There are some things your employees just don’t need to know – however, the more you share, they more comfortable your team will be. And don’t just stop with your team – make sure that your brand as a whole is transparent, especially with your customers.

  • Seek opportunity. It’s easy to say you’re not willing to take risks during a pandemic. But the most successful companies seize new opportunities, even when uncertainty is on their side.

  • Focus on strategic alignment and things in your control. Keep your eye on the intersection of what matters and what you can control.

  • Highlight safety nets. It’s never too late to start making contingency plans. And when you do, tell your team.

For more on how to help your team navigate the waters of uncertainty, head over to fastcompany.com to check out the full article.

How to Lead Through Change: Lessons from the Pandemic

As the pandemic continues to linger on, the question of where, when and how we work still remains unknown. Moreover, many businesses are seeing disruptions within their teams – from a talent shortage and decrease in worker productivity to a lack of collaboration and effectiveness. And as we try to move forward, one thing will stand out from the rest: effective leadership. Here’s how leaders can pilot this new normal:

  • Lead with compassion. Ask your employees how they’re doing and then listen. Some may be struggling to stay afloat; others may be doing just fine. Secondly, ask how you can help. Do they need an accommodating work schedule? New resources and tools? Lastly, thank them for their hard work and help them continue to succeed.

  • Make time for yourself. This is how you avoid burnout. Consider this: a lack of daily in-office interactions and the impact of loneliness and isolation can be twice as harmful to physical and mental health as obesity. Invest in yourself.

  • Focus on what matters. Examine what’s really important. Accommodate your employees’ needs without sacrificing the needs of your organization.

  • Energize, motivate and enable. Your employees look to you for direction. Lead by example – it’s crucial that your team see their manager practice what they preach.

To explore what lessons were learned during this unpredictable time, check out the article on industryweek.com.

Managing a Tired Workforce

You’re tired. Your employees are tired. Everyone’s tired. It’s a symptom of a much larger issue that’s stemmed from the pandemic – change and uncertainty. And while people across the globe are finding ways to cope with the effects of the crisis, it presents an opportunity for leaders – to learn and implement new skills. Here are a few steps to take to foster healthy coping mechanisms, help eliminate mistakes and ensure you’re not adding to the already festering anxiety that people are experiencing:

  • Be a role model. Now’s not the time to have a breakdown. Your employees are looking towards you for direction.

  • Mental flexibility. Normalize and destigmatize admitting mistakes. It’s ok to change your mind about things.

  • Emotional openness. You shouldn’t be embarrassed to admit when you’re having a hard time.

  • Healthy behaviors. Take care of yourself in all the ways you can: sleep, exercise, mental rest, etc. You should also have social/emotional support outside the office, whether that’s your spouse, a friend, therapist, etc.

  • Reduce stressors. Make it a point to decrease stress across the board. Ask for employee input.

  • Don’t add to anxiety. Make meetings a safe place for your team – it’s okay to ask questions that might seem irrelevant.

  • Mitigate mistakes. Create procedures, checklists, protocols to curb serious issues.

  • Reduce tunnel vision. Don’t get hung up on one idea – consider the big picture.

  • Learn from failure. Don’t make your employees afraid to admit their mistakes, Instead, come together to figure out ways to improve.

To dive deeper into how to lead an exhausted workforce, read the full article on hbr.org.

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