Want to be a better leader? Then consider these five leadership skill sets which can be just as valuable in a crisis as they are in your normal routine.
Leaders are not just frontrunners and trail blazers. They are our managers, directors, mentors and guides. And I believe it’s high time for them to step it up, in all walks of life, because they are desperately needed.
Over the past 18 years, I have found myself in the role of a leader, by being a survival instructor for groups in the wilderness. I have seen the need for leadership in each and every group. And I have seen that having a person with real leadership ability is something that every group requires in emergency situations. It’s not just a want, it’s a requirement.
But leadership isn’t just for the worst of times, or gloom and doom scenarios. The leadership skills of guidance and direction (and the confidence they instill in a neophyte leader) can have a great impact on a person’s day to day life. They build strength, reveal a finer character, and make us more valuable to others. Want to be a better leader? Then take the position seriously, and consider these five leadership skill sets, which can be just as valuable in a crisis as they are in your normal routine.
Plan Ahead Being a solid leader requires a great deal of thought, planning, and consideration for the best interests of the entire group and the individuals in it. As a leader in your office or home, this means planning important things, and mundane things too. Get out a pad and pen, and put your plans on paper to begin to make them a reality. As a leader in an emergency, there’s little time for complex or detailed plans, or for jotting down notes. Figure out the group’s needs, prioritize them into a plan quickly, and make it happen.
Maintain the Focus Pay attention to the task at hand. It can help to remind everybody that they are all on the same team with the same goal, when working on a task together. When working alone, then you may need to focus on your task even harder to make sure it gets done (and done right). This is especially true when it’s an unpleasant task, but also true in your household, at your job, and in the case of a survival scenario. A leader with focus is a leader who gets things done. Even if you’re not an eloquent speaker or a natural born leader, it’s hard for the naysayers to argue with the successes that a focused leader will have.
Lead by Example Our politicians could pay better attention to this one. But in truth, we all could. A valuable leader will hold their self to a higher standard. Set and maintain high moral and ethical bars, and don’t ask anyone to do anything that you wouldn’t do.
Tell the Truth Be honest and unapologetic. This is so simple, yet so hard for most people to do. As a leader, you’ll have to decide the things that must be done. You’ll also have to do these tasks yourself, or delegate them to others. Be truthful and open about all your actions and decisions, and don’t back down when you’ve made the right call.
Prepare for the Worst This can cause many a sleepless night for a good leader with genuine empathy for those under his or her guidance. Expect the worst situations to break loose at some point. Hopefully they won’t happen, ever. But as a leader, you must make a few plans to cover these awful contingencies, should they arise. Have a plan ready for each possible issue that you and your group can imagine.
And for more ideas on leadership in emergency situations, as well as DIY survival skills, check out my new book, Prepare For Anything, which will be available later this month.