Great leaders are often lauded for their successes. But, in truth, what makes good leaders great are the challenges and struggles of failure. Very often, the lessons learned during these times transform good leaders into great ones.

You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it’s important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages.

Michelle Obama

But that doesn’t mean you should just wait for startup to struggle to test your skills. Putting the effort and knowledge you’ve gained into preparing for situations like this can sometimes mean the difference between success and failure. We spoke to founders, business leaders and experts to come up with five ways you can show strong leadership in times of crisis.

Show confidence – always

man standing near woman smiling

Your staff, investors and even customers can get nervous when things start going wrong. This affects everything and can impact your business in many ways.

Fear leads people to make mistakes or rash decisions and this can escalate in a fast-moving organisation like a startup. As the leader, it’s your job to be strong no matter what adversity or challenges you are facing. By being steadfast you can be the rock on which your companies relies on.

Because difficult situations like this can be extremely tough for some of your members. The issues can even impact their personal lives as well.

As the leader you have to spot employees who are having a hard time and support them as much as you can. Make sure everyone in your company knows they can turn to you with absolutely anything and make sure that HR has ways to help your staff. There might not be anything you can directly do, but showing confidence and being that strong support for your team will go a long way.

Decisiveness is essential

Nothing causes confusion and panic like a leader that is indecisive and nervous. If you show that you don’t know what you’re doing in times of crisis can make the entire situation even worse. Making decisions need to be quick and followed through on. Sometimes taking action is more important than making the most informed decision and in terms of crisis, it can be important to make sure you are constantly moving ahead.

Being able to adapt and make hard decisions on the go is critical for a business going through trouble. A strong leader will be able to make tough decisions that go against the company’s usual MO and move the company forward.

Caution is advised

This may seem like a contradiction, but it isn’t. Just because your business is facing a crisis, it doesn’t mean you and your team members don’t have to be cautious and steadfast about your work. Things have a habit of spiraling out of control, so being in control is crucial to making sure nothing gets worse.

This is a true test of one’s leadership. While things are going awry, you have to take a step back and manage the operations as if the company wasn’t in a crisis. Make sure you do the basics right and do not let the issues pile on and you will be on the path to recovery in no time.

In times of trouble, cash solves almost all

person holding wallet and US dollar bills

The majority of issues your company faces can be solved by an influx of revenue. Whether it is a tough quarter or employee-issues, more money means a wider pool of options for you to solve the issues.

Double down on finding customers and grow your business as quickly as possible. However, this does not go out and raise unwise investments, as that can also lead to your startup’s downfall.

Always be in control

In times of crisis, being a leader means being in control of everything. Your emotions, the overall situation and current day-to-day activities.

When things like that happen, it’s imperative for the leader to get a better grip on the situation and show the team everything’s under control. Make sure you know when to delegate and when to take over the task yourself, as you need to be decisive as well as controlled throughout, so your team stays on the path with you.

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