When things go south, organizations and individuals swirl and twirl. Perhaps you have a team that not only can’t “shoot straight,” they are engaged in target practice. Tempers flare. Good people get caught in the crossfire. Or even worse, other people begin to tattle. Work can begin to resemble a pre-school sandbox more than a professional environment.
When the world shifts under our feet, it is incumbent upon each of us to assume a leadership stance—large or small. Whether you are the head of a business group or program, or a lead executive who is in distress, you must design the path forward to success, and take special care to mentor employees through the process. Even the most talented people may not have experienced extreme levels of disruption.
Mentoring has one basic principle – a more knowledgeable person or someone with a unique area of expertise assists a person with less experience in gaining experience, knowledge, or attributes that will assist them in their job. There are tactical and traditional approaches that include institutionalizing objectives and key results (OKRs) and providing supplemental training like continuing education unit (CEU) credits.
However, expanding someone’s key competencies does not necessarily address the fundamentals of a turnaround. Turnarounds require a unique level of understanding about leadership, management approaches, and the ability to dig into the underlying cause of the problems which the organization is facing. Second, personal growth doesn’t always address the emotional turmoil that accompanies frustration when nothing seems to be working. Jack Welch, former CEO of GE noted: When you were made a leader, you weren’t given a crown, you were given the responsibility to bring out the best in others.
Turnarounds require a unique level of understanding about leadership, management approaches, and the ability to dig into the underlying cause of the problems which the organization is facing.
Here are some tips for helping your team shine during times of crisis:
To move in the right direction when your team or organization is going south, focus on building the team that you have in place as you add resources to assist with moving to the next level. Good employees deserve a chance to show what they can do, and results will shine through.