Friday, April 23, 2010

7 traits of a good leader in a bad economy

Nothing separates the good leaders from the bad like a troubled economy. When times are bad, a leader’s true colors are exposed. Some step up and succeed, while others crumble.

What’s the difference between a good and a bad leader? A good leader brings the best out of his/her team, while a poor leader provides no direction or motivation. A good leader will ultimately have more productive employees, while a bad leader hinders progress.

What qualities must a leader have to successfully navigate a troubled economy?

First and foremost, a good leader must be poised. When troubles arise, an easily flustered leader will pass the stress onto his/her team. On the other hand, a poised leader will pass a sense of calm and confidence onto their employees during the difficult times.

Secondly, a good leader sees the big picture. They realize that the bad times will pass and don’t make hasty decisions based on the current conditions. When the economic situation is dire, some try to fix everything themselves. They cut out all spending, fire staff, and go into lockdown mode. When the economy recovers, they’re worse off than before. Don’t panic and change everything when times look bad. Realize that the bad times will pass, and figure out how to prepare yourself and your company for when they do. This company provides a great example.

For some more leadership traits for a bad economy, check out this article on While directed at CIO’s, I believe the information is relevant to leaders of all types.

As always, feel free to share your own ideas in the comments.


jdb 11:38 AM  

I agree whole heartedly that bad times have a way of magnifying bad managers. I have personally been witness to several examples of managers who were calm and cool during the good times and then who totally lost it when things got bad. I think in general trouble tends to bring out who we really are as a person and that's really what matters. what makes a great manager is someone who is a decent person and cares about their employees and wants to do a good job becuase its the right thing to do not becuase they want to make a $ or grab power or climb the corporate ladder on top of the bodies of their coworkers.

joestangarone 4:56 PM  

Exactly! You hit the nail right on the head. The bad times reveal one's true colors.

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