“All success during tough times begins and ends with great leadership, not great management.”

Leadership is the willingness to be accountable for positive results and then fulfill that responsibility regardless of the external challenges or personal cost. Leadership is about creating the future and then doing whatever it takes to win. Management is about competing on a daily basis to succeed in what the leader has envisioned.

Great leaders know failing is always a looming possibility, but quitting is never an option. Failing in an attempt does not make you a failure in life. It is in the crucible of stress with no clear path to victory that your character as a leader is revealed. How you handle a failure says much more about you as a leader than your successes.

Weak leaders, especially during times of crisis or challenge, abandon what made them and their organization successful in the first place. During the good times they take economic and personnel risks that greatly weaken their organization, reduce their operational options and eliminate the opportunity to ride out economic tough times. Weak leaders seldom have the resources available to take advantage of opportunities that only come during tough times.

No organization is immune to tough times or unforeseen challenges. However, wise leaders during times of crisis have the resources to capitalize on the mistakes made by weak leaders. Instead of being in survival mode they exploit economic sales, serve disappointed customers of their competitors, hire unemployed workers with great skills from other organizations, and offer services and products that poorly led and underfunded organizations cannot.

Great leaders always stay connected to what made their organization great in the
beginning. Even in the tough times they continue making bold decisions for the future that weak leaders only dream of and lack both the wisdom and courage to make.

If you prepare for the foreseen, you cope better with the unforeseen. However, it’s when the going gets tough that you see the real strength of a leader’s character. It seems some leaders are made for the tough times. History says Winston Churchill was one such leader, “inept” in peacetime, but superior in war.

In times of crisis great leaders continue to ignite the spirit and creativity of their team to find ways to make raving fans out of their team members, their existing customers (members) and find creative ways to gain new ones.

What’s your strategy to lead your organization during this time of national and worldwide crisis? Without one, your team’s morale and energy soon fades and your ability to fulfill the mission is doubtful.