JS Tip 10: On Leadership: Communicating in Tough Times

Leaders lead and encourage.

After recovering from the Great Depression and in the middle of the threat of global war, Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the governing board of the Pan American Union (an organization of all independent countries in North and South America).

In his address, he eased their minds. He gave them a plan. He told them, “Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” (Pan American Day Address, April 15, 1939)

In hard times, employees often create worst-case scenarios. (Will I lose my job? Will my paycheck bounce?) Good leaders communicate clearly and often the state and the direction of the company, the department, the shift. Even (and especially) if it’s bad news.

Knowledge drives away speculation. Employees won’t worry unnecessarily if they know the facts. Communication improves morale. Good morale improves productivity. Increased productivity drives companies through hard times.

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