Effective Leadership in Volatile Times

Effective Leadership in Volatile Times

In this article we look at effective leadership in volatile times and how you can take advantage of key leadership traits that will help you to effectively build, develop and manage your team.

The rise of the multi-dimensional leader

The one certainty there is in business, as in life in general, is that circumstances are constantly changing. While every Senior Executive is likely capable of managing organizations when conditions are painless, it takes an extraordinary person to provide effective leadership in volatile times. To succeed in these more arduous situations, leaders must demonstrate great versatility and flexibility. Senior Executives must become multi-dimensional leaders.

The modern-day successful business leader must be multi-dimensional. Being multi-dimensional requires more than one or two extraordinary areas of expertise and seniority; being multi-dimensional requires these leaders to be strong and well-balanced across the majority of aspects of the business. It may be more apt to describe them as “whole leaders.”

The diverse set of skills required can be categorized into three key areas of competency. These can be labeled as Head, Heart and Guts. They need the “Head” to equip clear purpose, direction and strategy. Leaders need the “Heart” to develop the appropriate corporate culture and workforce. The “Guts” are required to make the right decisions in the best interests of the organization and its people. It is through the combination of these competencies that doyens can provide exemplary guidance.

Leadership is aimed at influencing and motivating members towards organizational goals. Leadership styles must be varied however to accommodate the vast array of personalities of people seen through the work day. This is a combination of “Head” and “Heart” competencies. The leader must have good interpersonal skills, such as being able to effectively communicate their message no matter the intended audience. Managers and executives must display different emotions and behaviors for different sorts; they should be stern and authoritative for some while also be able to show empathy and understanding towards others.


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Another of the keys to success in today’s economy is the ability to learn from past mistakes. This is one of the “Head” competencies. No one can fully predict what the future will hold in the market. If that were possible, leadership would be able to design strategies to completely avoid troubles and volatile times would be nonexistent. Rather, problems and inopportune circumstances will arise and leaders must develop solutions while in live action. Leaders must take any time available to review the business’s strategic focus, and to implement tactics to achieve these aims. This time will never be long enough though, so quick critical thinking and decisiveness are essential.

Strong leadership is not fearful of competition or corporate politics. It also recognizes that it is not Human Resource’s job to grow and nurture leaders.  Leaders grow other leaders. Real leaders aim to make leader development a prime objective of the organization as a whole. These individuals recognize that the collective strength of the firm is in everyone’s best interests, as it can drive greater productivity and profitability. Executives reward the bright and ambitious with promotions and other incentives.

Leadership is all about maximizing value. Executives who can raise value across a wide scope of activities and individuals are far more precious and successful. It is through effective leadership that corporations can manage cash flows, spot future trends, and drive business growth when others cannot. When the markets are turbulent and times are tough it is through effective leadership that companies can not only survive but thrive.


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About the author

Jamie McDermott

Involved in Business Development and Technologies at Career Intelligence. Based in the Fleet Street, London office since the start of 2014.

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