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Seven Strategies for Leading in Times of Change

Effective Leadership
As successful executives and business owners, we are “entrepreneuring” 24/7. We wake up with a full schedule of things to do and, as professional women, we juggle our personal and our family’s activities as well. Whether man-made or natural disaster, while unexpected events may be catastrophic in nature, it is the emotional intensity that may overwhelm our senses and good judgment. To best cope with the emotional intensity of crisis so that we may lead effectively and stay calm, here is a quick checklist. It will enable you to set up a solid foundation on which to stand firmly grounded,  as well as to operate best when the pressure is on.

Strategy #1: Assess the situation.
If you are facing an unexpected event, whether it ranges from a catastrophic-like event to the loss of a significant family member or friend, ensure your own safety, your family’s safety and the safety of those who work with you. You cannot blink in choosing people first.

Strategy #2: Concentrate on your “here and now.”
Ground yourself. Find exactly where you stand and what you need to continue to move ahead and resolve.

Strategy #3: Go back to your schedule or plan to as soon as possible.
Start with the simplest routine. Break it down to small steps if needed. Go back to your business plan. This plan should be easily available to all.

Strategy #4: Avoid making big changes during times of crisis.
If you need to make some changes, make sure you go through the critical thinking process, such as conducting a thorough SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis.

Strategy #5: Approach your trusted circle.
Many are not at their best intellectual ability during times of tremendous stress and later believe they made poor decisions they regret. Learn exactly what each member of your trusted circle may offer: comfort, advice, wisdom, patience, or support. Avoid isolating. Collaborate with others who may also be going through a hard time. You’d be surprised how many people around you may be willing to help you if you only ask.

Strategy #6: Establish significant relationships beyond your comfort group.
Having an extended networking group will assist you in your swift recovery, as you will continue to be in touch with others who may share common goals, as well as collaborate with others who may need your products or services.

Strategy #7: Assess your intervention.
Evaluate what worked and what didn’t work for you. Improve your overall plan and plan ahead. Consider this an opportunity to continue to improve your business and to simplify as much of the process as possible. While many expect a magic solution to resolve a time of crisis, the most effective strategies still consist of being consistently organized on a regular basis.

Keeping calm and able to be confident in your perspective allows you to solidly keep your leadership edge. It helps you keep from becoming overly emotional, which is especially important as a professional woman in a leadership role.

Written originally for by Dr. Gabriela Cora.