Leading When Your Company is Leaderless

By: Janice Krupic, President & CEO, Paragon Leadership International

Would you be ready to lead others if opportunity came knocking?

People come and go in an organization, but when a CEO leaves, the loss of leadership leaves a vacuum that takes time to replenish. As people jockey for position, others are spun into temporary chaos. Morale can be affected. Is it your time to step up and lead?

Losing a CEO is becoming more commonplace: leaders are lured by other opportunities impacting wealth and power or are asked to leave a company that is faltering under their leadership.  Adient, Campbell Soup, Horizon Global, Intel, Michigan State University, Petrobras, and Thyssenkrupp have had their CEO’s exit recently.

Nina Zipkin, writer at Entrepreneur, shares lessons from CEOs who left positions in 2017.

The words of wisdom from Steve Ells, former CEO at Chipotle, “Understand when you are not the right person to solve your company’s current problem and empower the people who can to do so,” supports the belief that leaders within companies are waiting for the opportunity to rise to the top.

Someone needs to keep the ship on course; the business cannot afford to suffer from a decline in sales, lose market share or shareholder value. Reputation is everything and hard to rebuild. If you are one of the leaders left behind, and want to help the company to move forward, accept the challenge.

Your mindset of leader-ready behavior must be:

Be Disruptive . . . in a positive way

Now is not the time for negativity. View change as an opportunity to grow the business.

Lift Your Head

People are looking for someone with eyes on the prize, not an ostrich with its head in the sand. 

Collaborate with Many

Workers want to be needed and share their expertise. Use them. Isolation is your enemy.

Be the Messenger of Hope and Reality

Be the beacon in the lighthouse: the rational thinker who will guide. Send the message Follow Me. Now is not the time for doom and gloom. 

Make the Tough Calls

Leaders make informed decisions, confidently. Be that person. 

Take Risks

Use your gathered knowledge to boldly go where the company may needs to go.

Be all in

Watching a major sporting event on a small television without surround sound is futile. Go for the gusto.  Make each moment in the present the best it can be. Perceptive workers will notice the lack of motivation of someone who may be the next to leave.

Focus on Thriving

Know that the company can move forward stronger while it evolves under your leadership. This opportunity is not one of survival but of moving ahead and transformation.

The antimetabole, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going” reminds us that when a situation becomes difficult, leaders will become engaged and accept the challenges that lie ahead.

Be ready to extend your presence and be a positive force. Seize the opportunity.

Leap to leadership during your company’s time of need.