Building Flexible Leaders In Turbulent Times: A Prerequisite To Organisation Success


Whether it's an internal or external threat of a departmental move, change of management, an upcoming upheaval in organisational structure, or location or even future existence, leaders and employees are consistently facing turbulent times at work.

The chaotic complexity this presents when performing on the job requires individuals to stay cool and flexible under pressure so that they can bend and not break under change. Maximising self-management skill sets and lessening the imminent threats within the organisation are the first steps in improving company culture.

Below are 3 key leadership ideas when working in environments of uncertainty and wanting to improve the performance of management and their respective departments amidst this turbulence:

1. Be a chief reminding officer


The Captain has announced that the plane is delayed and you're a sitting stranded on the runway. Thirty minutes goes by and neither the Captain nor the crew has made any attempt to relay any information about what the problem is, what or whom they are waiting on or give a prediction of approximately how much longer everyone would be waiting.

Moral of the story:

Speak open and honestly with your teams. Over-communication is key! To a scared organisation filled with uncertain individuals, honest and abundant communication will do wonders for your employee engagement whilst minimising rumors that setup a deluded reality.

2. Master your own state

The state we are in determines the reality we create. It's so easy in turbulent times to play the victim and not the champion in our attitude. Instead, commit to being the cheerleader and not the cynic. I'm not talking about being a positive thinker but rather a possibility thinker. What I mean by this is committing with a disposition of optimism without denying the facts of the current reality. To be a great leader in turbulent times become a master at influencing your own state.


  • What you focus on grows
  • Your vocabulary determines your perception
  • Posture determines power

3. Invest in your energy

Change, uncertainty, and turbulence are heavily taxing on the brain. Investing in your energy physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually helps you to stay proactive and manage the demands imposed on your day to day agenda, whilst leading the people who rely on you to be the energy officer in the room. Your spirit is contagious; being a thermostat and not a thermometer is personal competency #1 in raising team morale through turbulent times.

In our leadership programs, we dive into how to consistently produce world class results by learning how to strengthen culture, influence state, and invest into personal energy, especially during turbulent times. We also teach individuals how to see change through the lenses of opportunity.

Leading yourself well so that you can lead others is paramount to having influence with those around you. Great leaders communicate with certainty, that's why people look to them and call them leader!

Benjamin Young

Speaker | Coach | Trainer | at Job Performance Coaching & Training

I help executives, managers & team leaders to influence human behaviour and in essence get more out of individuals and teams in terms of execution and results, sustainably. I help both leaders and employees improve excellence, energy & productivity in the workplace. I do this by teaching three specific skill sets: 1. Dealing with having too much to do 2. Staying cool under pressure 3. Influencing Behaviour -(Presenteeism, Absenteeism, Underperforming staff, Constructive Feedback)

Comments (1)
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

Another interesting and well written piece.