Leading in a New EconomyTips Every Leader Should KnowBy Jean M. Phelps, Franchise OwnerExpress Employment ProfessionalsMarch, 2010 

The challenges of leadership in today’s economy are many. Some are tried and true, while others are unlike any in recent history. Regardless, leadership is what will separate the good from the great as our country works to rebuild a thriving, stable economy. Today, businesses everywhere are ramping up to come out of this recession stronger than before and rise above the rest.


That’s why business leaders at all levels must assess their current skill sets to make sure they can effectively lead their team to produce positive outcomes for their departments and companies. “As the economy and business market changes, it’s essential for business leaders to grow and develop with it,” said Robert A. Funk, co-founder and CEO of Express Employment Professionals. “Their success as a leader and as a company depends on it.” These four tactics can be beneficial in that process.


Be Flexible. Some managers believe they always have the answers, are always right, and never need to compromise. But, today’s successful leaders realize that a heavy-hand approach can be counterproductive. The best leaders will be the ones who aren’t afraid to say “I’m not entirely sure, what do you think?” or “Hey, let’s try something new and see if it works.” The changing economy brought uncertainty to the workplace, so a flexible leadership style can help navigate in this new business environment. Leaders who are open-minded are more likely to capitalize on new ideas.


Delegate Tasks and Trust Others. The truth is, most people learn by doing. And in today’s workplace, it’s essential to allow others to grow within their career and take on more responsibility. Most people in upper management worked hard to get where they are by doing things themselves. So, they often rely on continuing to do things the same way. But, effective leaders know how to trust others to help them accomplish their goals and delegate tasks to team members. They understand the importance of equipping their team members to accomplish individual goals. Micromanagers will not only have difficulty thriving in this new environment, but they may also lose valuable employees in the process.       

 Hire for Success. Hiring for success means hiring based on skill sets a leader lacks. Because a great leader knows their limitations, they’re not afraid to admit their faults. In order for business leaders to achieve desired results, they must put the right people in place. Employees who will compliment the skills of the entire team. Being surrounded by the best employees will ultimately be a boost to any leader – and will set the entire company up for success.   

Coach Regularly. Mentoring employees has always been an important part of leadership, but now more than ever, it’s a necessary ingredient for any successful manager. Taking time to coach employees will result in higher productivity and increased engagement. Many employees have worked harder than ever this past year, and showing employees you’re invested in their career development will foster loyalty and respect. Leaders, even those who generally don’t consider themselves to be good mentors, will need to coach their employees and help them develop their careers.


The time for leaders to step up and focus on being effective is now. Those who achieve success will be the leaders who grow, develop, and change with the new economy. By focusing on coaching, delegation, flexibility, and hiring right, leaders will create a strong workforce that will outlast their competition and create a company that will rise above the rest.


To find out about your leadership style, go to www.myleadershipinstinct.com, or contact your local Express Employment Professionals office at 332. W. US Highway 30, Suite C, Valparaiso, Indiana 219-465-1868.