At some point, every business will face chaotic times. Attorney Michael Patrick, the COO of The Property Advocates, knows this is an inevitable reality of running a company.
Often, the difference between whether a company can be long-lasting or whether it will falter comes down to one simple equation — how leaders respond during these times and how they lead others through it.
When problems arise, the chaos it causes will vary from one business to the next, but the basic concepts of exhibiting strong leadership in chaos remain the same.
“No matter what type of business they run, leaders can follow a basic set of tips to help them get themselves, and their teams, through chaos,” says Michael Patrick, a dedicated problem solver and bridge-builder who’s often called upon to navigate complex issues at The Property Advocates.
Create a Plan, But Don’t Be Afraid to Shift
These situations often require quick and decisive action to avert a full-blown disaster. Many leaders rely on their instincts to act in these situations, but that’s not always the best course of action.
When chaos occurs, it’s essential that you create a plan for how to address it. Bring in trusted team members to help you assess the situation, collect input, and create a concrete plan.
“While leaders may instinctively rely on themselves to get through chaos, these are times when it’s even more important to bring in support of trusted team members,” Michael Patrick said.
Leaders must also recognize that they must be agile to lead through chaos. This requires constant monitoring of the progress of the plan and the situation as a whole and then adjusting or even completely reformulating the plan if it’s not working or if additional information arises.
Never Stop Communicating
The importance of communication becomes even more pronounced during these situations.
“Leaders must never stop communicating to the team during chaos,” Michael Patrick says. “Keeping team members on task with what they need to be doing that day and why they need to do it will help break through the significant noise that often exists during trying times.”
Team members may feel leaders micromanage when they overcommunicate, but that’s not the case. Instead, they’re just ensuring everyone is on the same page at all times.
By constantly communicating the direction, goals, and reasons behind what the team is doing, leaders will be able to address any concerns team members have instantly and directly.
Leaders must also ensure the messages they convey are open, honest, and transparent. They shouldn’t sugarcoat anything or attempt to provide answers to questions they don’t have. Strong leadership in chaos requires delivering sometimes difficult news.
Keep in mind that chaos often causes workers an immense amount of anxiety and stress. They may worry about whether the company will be successful long term and whether they’ll have a job at the end of it all.
“One of the most important characteristics that make up a strong leader in chaos is compassion,” explains Michael Patrick of The Property Advocates. “Despite the pressure that every day will bring possible chaotic situations, leaders must still care and be kind to everyone.”
Chaos can be emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. Leaders who want to consistently motivate employees to work their hardest and push through when they’re feeling down need to display compassion.
It’s also essential to identify whether workers are experiencing burnout and take whatever steps necessary to stop it from happening while also remembering that as a leader, they too can experience burnout, so they need to be compassionate within as well.
About Michael Patrick
As an attorney, passionate problem-solver, and The Property Advocates’ COO, Michael Patrick uses his legal background to solve complex issues and attain the best solutions with the least risk. Michael enjoys mentoring clients through challenges and leading them toward the best outcomes. Michael earned his Juris Doctorate from Barry University School of Law and enjoys spending weekends with his wife, Miranda, and three children, Aiden, AnnaBelle, and Ava.