Leadership when your Hand is Forced

As a leader you sometimes have to make tough choices that are outside of your control.

You may need to make hard choices to sustain your company’s mission or vision or simply to keep the business and as many jobs as possible alive.

Sometimes you need to make decisions that are a result of someones else’s choices or actions. These are the hardest to make as a leader.

It is easier (yet still really fucking hard) to explain economic realities/hardships than it is to try and convince your team to buy into something that neither you nor they believe in or understand. This is a classic predicament one can find themselves in, in the role of a “middleman”.

As a leader it is critical to be transparent. Hiding, or even just not sharing all motivations behind your decisions, is very easily recognized by an experienced and engaged team and you risk losing trust and buy-in. Further, decisions made in haste are going to go one way or another….you will hit it out of the park with your team as you save the day (and you’d better be saving the day) or you will be seen as out of control.

Making tough decisions is what leaders do. To ensure sustained buy-in, trust, and respect of your customers and staff you must be transparent, vulnerable, and make these changes with the input of your team.

As a leader you must understand each stakeholder’s situation and the impact that your decisions will have.

Finally, when you adjust a vision or mission as a leader you must first make sure you are ready to walk the talk and lead with actions that will allow your staff to buy into the new direction.

Published by Rob Owens

Canadian. Father, Husband, Friend. Entrepreneur, IFMGA Mountain Guide. Alpinism, BCT, MTB, Flyfishing. Moments, Choices. Better with Age...

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