Leading in Turbulent Times: Lessons from Successful CEOs

group oo people having a meeting
Photo by Rebrand Cities on Pexels.com


In my experience, effective leadership of teams goes through four stages as a company’s circumstances change. The first stage is stability, when things are going well and there are no major challenges facing your team or organization. Say’s Cheikh Mboup, in this stage, you can focus on building trust with your people; establishing clear lines of communication; and creating policies that encourage cooperation and teamwork.

Use a big-picture view to help the team see the future.

Leaders who can see the future are able to plan for it and make decisions that help their teams thrive. They use a big-picture view to help the team see the future, too. A long-term view helps leaders identify trends and patterns so they can make better decisions today, even if those decisions are unpopular in the short term.

If you’re not sure how to take a long-term view, here are some tips:

Be loyal to your people.

  • Be loyal to your people.
  • Loyalty is reciprocal, so be sure to treat your employees with the same respect and consideration that they have shown you. This can take the form of benefits like health insurance and retirement plans, but it also means being available when something goes wrong in their personal lives or providing support when someone needs help with something unrelated to work (like child care).

Continually improve your communication skills.

  • Be a good listener. Listening is one of the most important skills you can develop as a leader, and it’s something that many people struggle with. If you’re not careful, your natural tendency will be to talk too much and listen too little. Make sure your team knows that you value their ideas and opinions by asking for them–and then listening when they give them!
  • Be a good speaker (and presenter). It might seem obvious that leaders should be able to communicate well in person, but sometimes even the best-spoken CEOs struggle when presenting at conferences or events where they’re not used to speaking publicly on such a large scale. If this sounds familiar, consider taking some public speaking classes or hiring an executive coach who specializes in presentation skills training so they can help hone these skills before they become an issue later down the road!

Focus on relationships and trust, not titles and hierarchy.

It’s important for leaders to understand that trust is built on respect, not titles and hierarchy. If you want your team to trust you, they must believe that you respect them as people first and foremost.

Trust is also built when leaders show an understanding of other people’s perspectives–even if they don’t agree with them or like them personally. It doesn’t mean being defensive; rather, it means being open-minded enough to listen carefully before making judgments about others’ ideas, opinions and behaviors (or lack thereof).

In turbulent times, leaders need to be flexible and focused on results

  • Leaders need to be flexible and focused on results.
  • Leaders must be able to adapt to change and manage uncertainty.

Leaders who are successful in turbulent times are able to adapt their leadership style depending on the situation, taking into account both their own strengths as well as those of their team members.


In turbulent times, leaders need to be flexible and focused on results. They must also have a big-picture view of the future and be able to communicate with their team members effectively.

In the end, though, it all comes down to trust. If you want your employees and colleagues to trust you in times of uncertainty, then it’s important that they feel safe working with you–even if things don’t go according to plan or an emergency arises unexpectedly.

Like this article?