Leadership in a challenging environment

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Leadership in a challenging environment
. The same principle is true for leadership. It's challenging times that present the greatest opportunities for leaders to make an impact. The following 10points are basic strategies to help guide and remind you of the many ways you can make a difference for your employees and the company.

1. Communicate the big picture

Communications is key tokeeping employees engaged and committed to the company's success. Open and honest dialogue fosters loyalty and pride and helps employees see the value of their own work in terms of IBM's success.
It alsoreduces anxiety. We all have a tendency to think the worst. Set up regular meetings to inform employees about priorities, policies and current issues. Encourage a two-way dialogue and give them timeto ask questions.
Talk to them about our strategy and the Smarter Planet initiative and help translate what that means to their own jobs.

2. Be positive, clear and authentic

Attitude andhonesty are important. Leadership, at its root, is about optimism-a better tomorrow. Uncertain times have a negative effect on people but the confidence projected by leaders can overcome that detriment andboost performance. Be honest. Acknowledge the difficulties but stick to facts. Communicate priorities and the plans to achieve solutions.

3. Think change

It is difficult to resist reverting to a"command and control" style of leadership. The fact that "necessity is the mother of invention" is a cliché makes it no less true. Tough times stimulate innovation; don't impede that by reflexivelyinserting an answer from the past. Take advantage of the opportunities adversities present.

4. Recognize and address problems

Stay tuned in to your employees so you can resolve situations beforethey escalate.

5. Listen to what employees have to say

We must not only project confidence in ourselves but in our co-workers.
Mobilize their thinking and act on their ideas. This builds...
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