Difficult Times? Be an Inspirational Leader

It seems that economic uncertainty is everywhere and is not likely to improve overnight. As a result, your employees are worried about many things and their jobs may be at the top of their worry list.  


During one of MEMIC’s recent Integrating Safety into Sound Business Practices workshops for front-line supervisors, the participants were reviewing their observer scores from an assessment tool called the Leadership Practices Inventory. The LPI asks the participant’s co-workers to consider their supervisor’s performance on leadership practices such as encouraging others, modeling the way, and inspiring a vision of the future. When one participant named Sheryl noticed that she scored high on all of the practices with the exception of “inspiring a shared vision of the future”, she commented that as a front-line supervisor she has little knowledge about the future direction of her company.


Others agreed that they were in similar positions. After some discussion about what Sheryl didn’t know about the future of her company, I asked her what she did know, or “What would help an individual at your organization be successful in uncertain times?" Sheryl stated that an employee in her organization would enjoy future success if they had the following characteristics:

  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability
  • Willingness to go the extra mile

Sheryl agreed to introduce these characteristics to her team and during our next session, she was happy to report that this approach was already working. The individuals concerned about their future roles were beginning to be able to focus their energy on the traits listed above. And, as a bonus, Sheryl found that managing change became a little easier.

Consider your employees. How will you inspire them with a vision of the future? They are ready to listen.


Posted by John Dodge