News Article

Team Leaders Essential to Cope With Crisis

By Andrea Villar | Tue, 07/21/2020 - 20:04

Everyone can recognize great leadership. They are the ones that have your back, believe in you, the ones that you love to work for, that offer trust and transparency and support you, even if you make a mistake, said Jan Griffiths, President and Founder of Gravitas Detroit during the webinar: “Leadership to Successfully Navigate Uncertain Times in the Automotive Industry,” sponsored by Seraph and hosted by Mexico Business News.

In the midst of a pandemic and economic downturn, it is the perfect time to recognize and develop this type of leadership. “Times of crisis are perfect for authentic leaders to rise up and shine. At this moment, it is critical that leaders connect at a very human level with their teams. While strong leaders shine in these situations, weak leaders fail,” said Griffiths.

A crisis scenario means that things are moving really fast and in an uncertain way. Leaders need to make decisions and do it quickly. According to Griffiths, two things can happen when a human being faces a crisis: they can either embrace it and deal with it or freeze. “We have gone through a period of denial, then anger came, as well as some sort of loss because we lost our lives as we once knew them. But now, we are in this period of acceptance and understanding what this new normal is all about,” she explained.

But how can people manage to overcome this type of grief? During a time of crisis, it is critical that leaders connect a at very deep human level with their teams, said Griffiths. “It takes leaders with the right mindset to get themselves together and move beyond those stages before they can get their teams and business through that grief cycle.”

Taking care of people, Griffiths added, has a lot to do with communication. For her, leaders need to manage the words they speak and even their body language to create a human connection with their teams and bring calm to the chaos while empowering employees. However, showing vulnerability in times of crisis is also a sign of strength, she said.

“We are not going to have all the answers and it is okay. In the automotive industry, we would like to have them. But at present, when dealing with suppliers, companies fail to negotiate and it takes great leadership to be able to put that script away and support companies,” Griffiths pointed out.

Andrea Villar Andrea Villar Journalist and Industry Analyst