Please Join Us!
When: Friday, April 28 @ 1pm EST (5pm GMT/10:30pm IST)
Topic: Leading in Uncertain Times
About This Week’s Chat
When I was driving to the office one morning, I heard on the radio that the bank I worked for had merged with three others. My heart sank.
But, my initial shock was soon replaced by anger – about having received the news via the media and not “first hand.” Couldn’t they have told us the previous day? And couldn’t George have…? And that’s where that thought stopped, because I trusted George implicitly.
George was the organization’s head of properties and, at the time, I had worked as his personal assistant for two years. I just knew he would have prepared his department in some way if he had been aware of the merger, even if he wasn’t able to give us all the information.
I was at the office before George that morning, and the phones were ringing like crazy. People were standing in line outside my office to ask if George, or I, knew something. It was chaotic. In the meantime, Mr Richards, the managing director, had told me that George needed to go to the “big boss’s” floor for a meeting as soon as he got to work.
When George arrived, seeming as calm as always, I gave him Mr Richards’ message. But, instead of rushing to the elevator, he asked me to get everyone in our department together in the boardroom.
“But, George,” I protested, “Mr Richards wants to see you immediately.”
“I know,” he said, “but my first responsibility is toward the people in this department.”
As it turned out, George had also heard the news on the radio. He couldn’t tell us much more than we already knew, but he assured us that, whatever the situation, he’d fight to keep the jobs of everyone in his department. He also promised to keep us updated. It was a short meeting, but, when we returned to our desks, we all felt a sense of calm.
We never doubted George, even though we were uncertain about what would follow. His solid reputation, and the fact that he communicated with us there and then in that moment of crisis, made all the difference.
This isn’t really part of the story about “Leading in Times of Uncertainty,” but it would be unfair not to tell you this: George fought many a tough boardroom battle to keep his word, and not a single job in his department was lost.
Leading in Uncertain Times
In last week’s Twitter poll, we asked you what you thought was the most important thing for a leader to do in uncertain times. The option “Communicate Effectively” won hands down with 62 percent of the votes. In a distant second place was “Encourage People,” with 21 percent. To see all the options, have a look at the poll here.
During our #MTtalk Twitter chat this week, we’ll discuss “Leading in Uncertain Times.” One of our regular participants, Linda Mann (@TalentExch Biz), suggested the topic and also contributed a few questions. We’d love to hear from you, too, and the following questions may spark some thoughts:
- What opportunities can uncertainty bring?
- What do uncertain times mean to you?
- What values and behaviors are important for leaders to demonstrate during periods of uncertainty?
- How can you keep the trust of your team through an uncomfortable transition?
- What do you expect from a leader in uncertain times?
- In uncertain times, what are some of the obstacles leaders need to navigate?
To help you prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse:
- The Uncertainty Factor
- Leading by Example
- A Leader’s Mood
- The Power of Trust: A Steel Cable
- Optimism: The Hidden Asset
- The Agile Leader: Adaptability
- Ethical Leadership
At Mind Tools, we like hearing from people all over the globe. We’d like to learn from you, too, and we invite you to participate in the #MTtalk chat this Friday at 1pm EST (5pm GMT/10:30pm IST). Remember, we feature great participant responses right here on our blog every week!
How to Join
Follow us on Twitter to make sure that you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hash tag #MTtalk in your responses.