Consensus Management or Dictatorship?
When things are going well it is easier to run a business by consensus where everybody has a say and, because of this, no-one is accountable when things don’t work as expected.
When business is difficult people naturally turn to wanting a strong leader who will provide direction, motivation and a positive attitude to give them confidence.
The present crisis has thrown up a very good example of this in the form of the New York State Governor, Andrew Cuomo. The three term governor has, in the past, been described as ‘abrasive, bullying and over controlling’ yet is currently being hailed as ‘the control freak we need right now.’ Cuomo presents the facts in a soothing but firm tone and it is this unwavering approach that is giving confidence and hope to many people.
We have always believed successful businesses need one leader, not a committee, to focus direction and results and this is very evident in the current crisis. This doesn’t mean everyone else is ignored, quite the contrary, listen to everyone but eventually one person is needed to distill this into a plan and carry the whole business forward.
The ‘dictator’ still has to be accountable and, for most SME’s, this comes in the form of shareholders, other directors or, in extreme cases, an insolvency practitioner!
You must still be open to questioning by staff, and other stake holders, as worried people need regular reassurance things will turn out right in the end. As the leader you must also set a good example to follow – beware a ‘do as I say not as I do’ approach or you will lose any goodwill and failure will almost certainly follow.
Running a business is a lonely place and in these difficult times most of us need someone to bounce ideas off. If you are looking for help in making plans to get you through this period, or need advice on how to be a crisis leader, then please get in contact with us. The first call, or video chat, is free and might just provide the ideas necessary to save your business.