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Four Steps To Leading During A Downturn

Alexandria Joy - Monday, December 08, 2014

At UQ Power we imagine a world where people wake up every day inspired to go to work and return home at the end of the day feeling fulfilled and as though they have had an opportunity to use their unique strengths. 

Sadly this is often not the case. During turbulent times and economic challenges, many organisations and their leaders hunker down and resort to container style management - restriction, rigid policies and procedures, cost cutting and endless accountability trails. 

I recently wrote an article about the ill effects of poor leadership that struck a nerve receiving around 55,000 views and 500 comments about how the quality of your manager is more important to your health than the quality of your doctor. In fact studies from Europe and the US are showing that when people say “my boss is killing me”, quite literally this could be the case. 

The challenge during these tough economic times, particularly here in Australia where businesses who are heavily reliant on the mining, manufacturing and industrial sector are feeling the pinch, is not to fall into this trap and instead continue to inspire and engage people to create a healthy, productive workforce.

So what is the opportunity inherent in the current crushing economic climate and mining downturn? One thing we are discovering through our work at UQ Power is more and more people committed to finding new ways to clarify what matters most, to respect people and their individuality and to experiment with new ways to do things. This change in focus creates what we call a four way win: improved performance at work, at home, in the community and for the self. 

Could the current downturn make it easier to experiment with new attitudes and serve as a catalyst for your own reinvention as a leader? Watch this week's episode of UQTV for four ways you can continue to lead during a downturn. 


Now it’s your turn. What opportunities or silver linings have you found during your toughest economic times? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Tandy commented on 10-Dec-2014 02:54 PM
Great post. Leadership is one of my favorite topics!
Mary Ellen Miller commented on 11-Dec-2014 12:40 PM
Fear in the workplace is a terrible thing. I have experienced it! However what followed that fearful time was for me, an opportunity to become an entrepreneur. Heidi, this reminds me of that ancient Chinese expression about crisis and opportunity being the same thing.
Mitch Tublin commented on 15-Dec-2014 02:10 PM
If people in their workplace live in fear of their managers and leaders imagine how unproductive the workplace is! Add to these facts the stress and unhealthy atmosphere! A shame this is happening at workplaces all around us.
Mira commented on 15-Dec-2014 02:24 PM
This is so important. Good leadership is crucial all the time.
Trudy Scott commented on 16-Dec-2014 11:32 AM
I believe in silver linings for sure - just as I went back to school to study nutrition, I got laid off my computer job! it was a great motivation to keep going and eventually start my own business. I have not looked back!
Tiffany deSilva commented on 08-Jan-2015 04:02 AM
Great tips! I love how you break down the foundations. One silver lining is the opportunity to review and reevaluate your priorities and using creativity to focus on things that really matter most.

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