Twelve months ago managers and employees at Northern Rock could not have envisioned the situation they find themselves in this week. Working in an organisation with an aggressive growth strategy, happy customers and confident investors they did feel pressure to perform at ever higher levels, but didn’t expect to become a hot political topic.
The new reality for Northern Rock managers is that they need to keep a workforce motivated and engaged in a period of turbulence, when redundancies are expected, job roles are in flux and their future is being debated publicly by politicians, journalists and lawyers.
In difficult circumstances people in organisations look to their leaders to provide a clear view of how to proceed. Managers who advise ‘business as usual’ may feel that they’re encouraging calm in troubled times, but the unreality of their vision does not inspire confidence.
People will respond well to uncertainty and change when confidently led in a positive direction. Leaders who can not only cope with the changes they’re faced with, but can provide leadership in ambiguous times are a real asset to organisations.