Leadership in Difficult Times 1

Showing Leadership in Difficult Times

With the present lockdown still in force and some people returning to work, It’s even more critical that you express good leadership in the way that you interact with others and keep your staff motivated and on message, when there are plenty of reasons to pull people off-track.

The following notes are Adapted from ‘How to Lead Your Team and Keep the Right Balance’ published by Charles Barnascone of Infinite Possibilities Ltd

In the book How to Lead your Team, the action of setting the destination forms the foundation for all the other aspects of leadership within the Leadership Matrix, also referred to in his book. Charles sets out the first steps to make leadership work in difficult conditions:

Step 1 of the Leadership Matrix Setting the destination – Where are you heading?

In these difficult times it is easy to lose sight of what’s important

When you set the destination for your team you form the context within which all the other sections of the Leadership Matrix will work. Setting the destination means setting your purpose and your values which will form the guidance system of how you will operate, and maintain a balance between the results you achieve and your ability to produce those results.

In these times it’s critical that you refer back to that destination which you set in the first place and keep your focus on that original context.

Without a clear idea of your purpose, and your values, decisions about your use of time become more difficult. Without maintaining balance, it becomes increasingly difficult to sustain results in the long term. Setting the direction then, forms the core of the Leadership Matrix, and so rightly sits within the inner centre circle of the Leadership Matrix.

So let’s look at a reminder of Concept 1 within ‘Setting the Destination’– Balance – Performance vs capacity


To make sure that you or your team get to your destination, you will need to do the things necessary to develop your and their ability to perform well.


Balance is fundamental to your success in any role in life.

In terms of leadership, balance is about knowing what objective you want to achieve and understanding how you can set up all of your resources and circumstances to impact on your ability to achieve your objective.

This includes not only all the aspects of the business, but of your personal life too. To use an example, it is easy to put every ounce of effort into one area of your life to get a short-term result, but if you keep focusing on that area to the neglect of other aspects of your life, in the long-term, your ability to get results will diminish.

To get good performance from a car for example, you need to maintain its working parts, if you don’t maintain the car, it will eventually let you down. This is a good metaphor for life. Maintenance is just as important as results.

There is currently quite rightly a lot of emphasis on work/life balance. The situation with Covid 19 is forcing people to reflect on and change how we spend our time. This change in approach will probably force changes for the better on a permanent basis. I hope so, we need to plan time for rest and relaxation. You need a balance between the time and effort you spend at work and the time and effort you spend on the rest of your life, otherwise you will ‘burn out’.

The same applies to the teams, people, or systems, which you lead. The fact is that when you are in a leadership position others will follow your example. Since you will no doubt be responsible for the results of the people you lead, it is vital that they understand the importance of both ‘maintenance’ and ‘results’. They will gain that understanding by observing what you do, and the example you set.

At an individual level, ‘maintenance’ activities are very personal; one person’s way to maintain their ability, is another person’s stress that could diminish ability, so allow people to identify their own way. Encourage your team to find ways to balance results with maintenance, particularly if they are covering for furloughed colleagues. Support invested now will reap a great deal of loyal engagement later.

Further excerpts from ‘How to Lead Your Team’ will be made available as articles in the coming weeks

To find out more about the book or to order a copy go to  Buy The Book

Charles Barnascone