By Jane Sunley, best-selling business author and Chairman + Founder of Purple Cubed
Whether you voted Remain or Leave, regardless of your own opinion, no doubt you’ll have been struck by the social media outcry and strength of emotion since the outcome of the EU Referendum was announced on Friday.
People are, by their very nature, afraid of such drastic and high profile change. Now’s the time for UK’s leaders to come to the fore and, without sugar coating, allay as many fears as possible. To quote Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right”.
The fact is that no one knows as yet what will happen and I’d be willing to bet that the consequences won’t be as devastating as many believe. Remember Millenium Meltdown, in the late ‘90s, when experts predicted that in the year 2000 we would be overtaken by a spreading technological disaster? As the country’s computer networks were undermined by the ‘millennium bug’ we could expect widespread power failure, chaotic transport, 40,000 businesses would be faced with bankruptcy (putting six million jobs at risk,) the financial system would collapse, the stock market would be suspended. In the event, none of this happened, though the chaos ensuing from people worrying about it was seriously disruptive, especially to business. Perception is projection.
Of course the Brexit outcome will have a short-term implication on the economy. However as leaders we must show strength, keep up the momentum, ride it out, and believe that we will all come out of this positively.
In times of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity, never underestimate the importance of leading from the front. All leaders and influencers must show confidence in their organisations and their people, stepping up with vigor to ensure employees:
- Can feel as secure as possible
- Know what’s going on throughout
- Are as engaged as they can be
Having started this business the day before 9/11, I know that in uncertain times this triumvirate is more critical than at any other time.
It is our job as leaders to make sure that our people ‘think they can’…