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Monday, April 13, 2009

Six Essential leadership Traits for Uncertain Times

Below is the 2nd of a number of posts over this week based on my review of Ram Charan’s important new book: Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty,McGraw Hill, 2009. ~Please pass it along to colleagues who could benefit from this information.

Charam offers what he believes are 6 behaviors leaders must have during hard times:

1. Honesty and Credibility—straight talk in the fog of war builds far more confidence and credibility than looking through rose colored glasses that are unrealistic.

2.The Ability to Inspire: In uncertain times, people need hope in the unseen. Leaders have to shape a new vision and get incremental wins to build confidence.

3. Real-time Connection with Reality: Reality for Charam is “a moving target” that changes from day to day. Leaders need to keep their heads in the game and react to accurate ground-level intelligence.

4. Realism Tempered with Optimism: More of the same. Practical but hopeful. Charan’s quote “Unadulterated pessimism is no more realistic the unbridled optimism.”

5. Managing with Intensity: Mentioned before…Head in, Hands on. With an ear to the ground for ground-level intelligence.

6. Boldness in Building for the Future: Keep a close eye on the present but don’t forget to look at the horizon…which will be here faster than we all think! And you have to b e prepared to thrive again.

The book breaks down in to several sections focused on key players in the company: The CEO, CFO, Sales and Marketing, Operations—as well as function areas, such as HR, R&D, Supply Chain, Staff Functions, and the Board of Directors. See the next few posts.

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