Generally, leadership involves motivating others around you to be the best version of themselves. It could involve ruling, guiding, and inspiring others. What this means is that anyone who performs these functions regardless of whether you just found yourself in a position to influence others or you formally lead and manage a group of people either as a manager or supervisor, qualifies to be addressed with the term “leader.”

 “Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and a shared vision of the good.”

– Joanne Ciulla (Author and Educator)

Typically, for every leader, there would be both good and bad times. One of the greatest ways to prove how great of a leader you are is in your ability to seize or make the best of the opportunities in the hard times. 

Great leaders do not have many opportunities to prove themselves in stable economic conditions since there’s little or no need to take bold steps and make difficult decisions. However, in bad times such as in a period of economic downturn, the test to prove your worth presents itself. 

A great leader would be someone who can maintain a positive outlook, and also utilize the situation to find invaluable insight into long-term leadership skills. He steps up to show that they are future-thinking professionals willing to take on a culture of progressive actions.

We can say that these bold initiatives leaders take in hard times distinguish great leaders from other leaders. 

So since anyone can be a leader, you need to be able to lead your team to survive and thrive even in times of economic downturns to truly become a “great” leader.

  1. Practice Hands-On Leadership

If you have not been doing this, then you have to start right away. As a good leader, you need to be visible to your peers. Know who your employees are and build relationships with them so as to encourage them to be loyal and confident in you and your vision. 

  1. Lead By Example

You know exactly how you want your employees to act, show them how to act that way by becoming a role model. For instance, in periods of economic downturn, it’s not enough to tell your employees that times are hard and so they are all required to make sacrifices to help your company survive. You need to demonstrate what you mean. You can’t lay people off, cut pay, and then take a vacation no matter how much you feel you deserve it. 

  1. Redefine Operational Efficiencies 

Though leadership during an economic downturn can be challenging, it is not impossible to achieve great results. Start looking at your business differently and assessing your company policies, processes, and procedures to make sure they are still effective in the changing environment. Listen to ideas and opinions from your employees to know what needs to be eliminated and what still works.

  1. Become A Change Agent

If you are going to become a great leader, you need to have a positive outlook to change instead of fighting it. Also, be prepared to deal with the emotional part of change such as the fear and anxiety over what will happen next, or even anger from people who that change will affect.

If you fail to deal with the emotional part of the change, you’ll have to deal with low morale which will lead to low productivity. And as you accept and deal with these changes, ensure to communicate them openly and honestly to everyone around you.

In conclusion, one of the toughest parts of being a leader in navigating and surviving in the uncertain environment of an economic downturn. Only leaders with the ability to demonstrate great skills will be most successful during hard times.