Increase efficiency, boost employee morale, and maximize profitability in an unstable global market by using these 5 proven leadership practices.
Whenever the price of oil remains low, leaders in the industry naturally begin to react by cutting cost and shedding inefficient equipment. This can exact a heavy toll on employees, and the organizations that not only survive but thrive will be those whose leaders demonstrate proficiency in a few specific leadership competencies. Based on my work with oil and gas leaders in 20 countries, here are the top 5 competencies that will lead to greater profits when prices rebound.
1. Interpersonal Skills
Many oil and gas organizations spent millions competing in the global war for talent. When times get tough, it’s easy for leaders to slip into demonstrating poor interactions. Organizations that want to retain the talent they battled so hard for would be wise to have their leaders maintain a high degree of focus on good interpersonal communications. If they don’t, when the smoke clears, they’ll be left with an employee base composed mostly of the untrained and the disengaged.
2. Coaching for Performance
Efficiency trumps everything when revenues and profit margins shrink. The most successful leaders know the
fastest way to reverse the downward spiral into unprofitability is to coach employees to complete tasks safer and more efficiently. Slowing down to eventually go faster may feel counter-intuitive, yet it is what separates the future industry leaders from everybody else.
3. Managing Conflict
As uncertainty increases the pressure to deliver results, people naturally move from a state of collaboration to one of competition. This eventually results in conflicts (interpersonal, task, and / or values). A simple yet clear cut truth – the more skilled the leader at managing conflicts, the more profitable his/her business results will be because conflicts always increase time and cost while reducing quality.
4. Political Savvy
In times of market disruptions, people and organizations become much more open to change. The most politically savvy leaders recognize this, and they seize the opportunities to grow their influence and success. Conversely, those who do not maintain a firm grasp on understanding the variables driving the political environment will most certainly see their influence sharply reduced causing their future and that of those they lead to become increasingly uncertain.
5. Questioning Skills
If a leader tries to make all the decisions, s/he will eventually become dispensable. Successful leaders don’t ask questions that cause reaction. They ask questions that cause creation. They know the key to sustained success is asking the right questions to reveal the perfect answers to a never-ending stream of opportunities embedded in life’s imperfect situations. Simply put – asking instead of telling is the most important skill for driving future profits.
By requiring leaders in your organization to use these 5 leadership skills, your organization will be well positioned to seize significant market share when prices rebound.
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