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If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever. ~ Thomas Aquinas

Leadership is a mirror in which the people see their collective reflection in the face of uncertainty. Able leadership determines the fate of the employees and the organization in uncertain times – when the business is not doing good.

So, what are the things that make an organization powerful and sustain the storm in uncertainty? There are so many things you can think of, but if you can narrow down to a few things you shall see only a handful of the things in an organization that determines the fate of the company.

According to the UN News  “Apart from the tragic human consequences of the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic, the economic uncertainty it has sparked will likely cost the global economy $1 trillion in 2020,” said the UN’s trade and development agency, UNCTAD.

One “Doomsday scenario” in which the world economy grew at only 0.5 per cent, would involve “a $2 trillion hit” to gross domestic product, he said, adding that collapsing oil prices had been “a contributing factor to that growing sense of unease and panic”.

Below is a graph which charts the economic meltdown in the last few years to the current situation:

Global GDP Growth

Global GDP Growth, 1995-2020 and future trajectory

Source: https://unctad.org/en/pages/newsdetails.aspx?OriginalVersionID=2300

But if you closely look at the graph you shall find every time there was a meltdown the industries and the businesses are fighting back.

Organizations become most powerful in uncertain times because at the end of the day leaders takes a decision not in cold blood, but out of sheer courage and vision, and this die-hard attitude comes from the undefeatable strength of human resources. Organizations are not only about money but more about the people and serving the people at large.

What makes the Organization Powerful in the Uncertain Times?

Here are the 7 things which help every organization to bounce back and sail the rough tides:


7. Practical Decisions:

Practical decisions based on facts, statistics and farsighted leadership can help an organization cope with the economic meltdown and human tragedies. Practical decisions don’t mean you can’t make decisions that are emotional, but it means you make decisions that are pragmatic, takes care of greater good and are informed and farsighted.

6. Ability to take quick decisions:

The ability to take quick decisions makes an organization sustain rough weather. Here the responsibility is universal. In crisis moments if the team waits every now and then for leadership direction, it can’t sustain. The ability to take quick and correct decisions comes from ownership. When everyone takes responsibility, you can’t make the wrong steps collectively.

5. Grit and Determination:

You cannot have hope in fear. You can have Hope in courage, grit, and determination. From team members to managers and to leaders – grit and determination count in times of economic meltdown. If the organization collectively loses determination, if there is no last man standing – it can never fight back in tough times.

4. Innovation and Learning:

Learning is a habit. Companies who are constantly investing in R&D will become a powerful organization in testing times. Constantly innovating technologies and processes not only keeps an organization ahead of others but also helps the company learn faster than other organizations in times of disaster. These types of companies find the out of box solution in the least amount of time and they successfully cope with the disasters.

3. Business for a Cause:

Companies that care only for profits will not sustain this tough time. Organizations doing business for a cause, caring about helping and improving the lives of people at large will become powerful in this uncertainty. You can see how many non-profit organizations which struggled in rosy times, are now becoming more powerful than any other companies.

2. Keeping the Team Together:

Keeping the Team Together is what makes an organization powerful in uncertain times. A team that thinks and cares about others even in lockdown, can never be defeated. A team that thinks of collectively fighting back has seldom seen a failure.

1. Visionary Leadership:

Able Leadership is the brain which cuts through the rough tides. Leaders without vision cannot sustain rough times. From Steve Job to Walt Disney, from Toyota to Tesla, from Google to Amazon – leadership has mattered every time to fight back and fight back with a bang.

A leader who has no vision, cannot hold nerve in these tough times. A leader who can dream can only provide a lifeline to his people.

Ultimately, leadership is not about glorious crowning acts. It’s about keeping your team focused on a goal and motivated to do their best to achieve it, especially when the stakes are high and the consequences really matter.

~ Chris Hadfield

The brain and the heart are the two organs that keep us alive. Thinking and doing together with tremendous passion and hope makes an organization powerful in uncertainty.