A group of researchers looked to the military for insights into how managers and their teams can survive and thrive during difficult times. They reached a few significant conclusions:
- There are three interconnected qualities that characterize effective leaders: approachability and openness, a knowledge of how processes and operations work, and the ability to balance risks to the mission and to the people.
- The most admired leaders build loyalty and trust both before and after crunch period. They take care of people and establish a high level of commitment and loyalty.
- To prepare for and recover from a crunch, good leaders make themselves accessible to the team, master how their organization’s processes work, are obsessed with their team’s professional development, and make mental health a priority.
- During the crunch, the best, most effective leaders set aggressive but achievable goals, understand and acknowledge the costs of their decisions, keep lines of communication open, and put the team’s personal interests over their own.