‘Hands-on’ management: leading with professional competence – in a crisis and always

‘Hands-on’ management: leading with professional competence – in a crisis and always

Leading in Times of Crisis

Many things that we knew or we thought we knew about management, turned irrelevant from one day to the next, following the Covid-19 crisis. The most popular theories, the success stories, the experience of the last decades partially lost their importance because the current situation is completely new and unique. It forces us to explore new ways and to define new actions.

We just need to listen carefully. The management language was replaced through ‘dry’ terms like:

Strategy through Bridging measures
Growth through ‘Stay afloat’
Profit through Contraction
Forecast through Uncertainty
Meetings and events through Virtual-Meetings
Work-Life Balance through Increased working time and stress

Many questions still remain unanswered: we do not know how long this disruption will last and how the working environment will look like in the future.

What kind of business leadership is needed now and in the future?

But one question we can already answer: what kind of business leadership is needed now?

I dare to answer: A COMPETENT LEADERSHIP – both from the professional and personal point of view! Company politics and false leadership are wrongly placed in times of disruption (actually always).

In the first part of this blog article we have looked at 7 personal skills that define good managers in times of crisis.

Here it is about the managers’ PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE.

The professional competence of a manager becomes quickly obvious in times of crisis.

Why is it of utmost importance to have professionally competent managers in key positions, now more than ever?

Because the crisis forces us to find new ways. Managers need to make many decisions fast and under constraints.

Some decisions are of strategic nature and most of the time these are made collectively. Other decisions are of operative nature and are made by fewer persons. Moreover, in many cases a manager decides alone on them. But exactly these operative decisions have immediate impact on financial indicators, employees and clients and hence, have the potential to destabilise the business.

Some decisions have short-term relevance and thus a bridging role. Other decisions have a medium and long-term impact on teams and the company.

Also, not taking decisions or postponing them can lead to material consequences.

This is valid for every decision: Good decisions need a solid basis of expertise. Especially under time constraints, when it is difficult up to impossible to ‘buy in’ additional expertise from other sources.

What is the real contribution of the managers’ professional competence?

Managers with robust skills and expertise:

  • Place pragmatic solutions above company politics,
  • Estimate the situation pretty well and weigh the impact of their decisions in a realistic manner,
  • Act efficiently – they are able to make decision fast and uncomplicated, thus contributing to costs’ saving,
  • Strengthen the trust within the company: employees tend to follow rather competent managers than false-leaders,
  • Strengthen the trust in the company: clients tend to do business rather with competent business partners.

Consequently, my CALL TO ACTION addressed to the company’s top management:

  • Strengthen now the leadership culture of your company!
  • Nominate in key positions exclusively professionally and socially competent managers!

This means:

1. Those competent managers that you already have in your company – identify, retain and support them, both financially and mentally!

2. Those that you still need – bring them in!

3. Those with potential for the future – invest in them!

4. All the others – save the costs!

Especially when companies are shaken by external shocks, they need:

clear heads – strong shoulders – and skillful hands behind the steering wheel.

This may cost money at the beginning. But I promise you: taking a long-term view, it will save your company the costs caused by wrong decisions and wrong management.

Are you in need of support in identifying and strengthening your competent managers? I help you upgrade the leadership skills and culture in your company. How would I do that?

With my effective and individual coaching and training methods, I support:

  • Managers – to refine and to extend their skills
  • High performers – to develop their leadership personality
  • Decision makers – to make decisions in a better and more grounded way.

You can reach me at: or +436602400135.

Your Raluca Ionescu

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