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How to Be a Good Leader in a Bad Economy

It's hard not to be worn down today

“My days are full of turnabouts. I have to go back on promises, reshuffle priorities, and I second-guess too much. It’s wearing on me, and I feel like I am spending hard-earned goodwill,” a member of an executive leadership team told me in one of our sessions. “I want to pause for a moment and talk about how I can be a good leader in a bad economy.”

On paper, this person was being a good leader by enacting tried-and-tested strategies to prepare for an economic downturn: becoming more hands-on and moving closer to their team, setting a faster pace and asking people to handle bigger workloads. But instead of releasing energy and instilling confidence, these moves were wearing the leader down — and their employees, too. In their effort to build a fortress, they felt like they were about to burn down the house.

This feeling may be familiar to executives and managers who are anticipating a recession on top of the aftershocks of the pandemic. The common thinking is that each crisis makes people stronger and more able to cope. But this is not the reality. Compounding crises tend to make people more vulnerable — and more shaky.

Please select this link to read the complete article from Harvard Business Review.

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