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The Price Group


True Leaders: How Exceptional CEOs and Presidents Make A Difference by Building People and Profits (December 2001, Dearborn Trade Press).

Rejecting Rejection: How to Take Control of Your Life in Uncontrollable Times. Bette Price (Kendall-Hunt, 1996)

Leadership Ethics: More Than Just Lipservice. Bette Price.

The People Keeper: How Managers Can Attract, Motivate and Retain Better Employees, Mark Holmes (Advance Mark, 2001). Also,





When business leaders face uncertainties, one thing remains clear. In order to successfully transition through turbulent times, leaders must return to the core values that made America great—caring about people first to generate profits for the long-term. Leaders can use the following ten traits to help them transition through turbulent times:

1.     Show passion for your business, its purpose, and its people
Show emotion during tough times. Leaders must openly demonstrate a passion for their business, its purpose, and its people. When leaders demonstrate a genuine passion for their people and the contributions each one makes as an individuals, people feel more valued, thus are willing to take more risks to perform—often raising their level of performance because of the tough times.

2.      Think more strategically than tactically
Beyond the big picture and visionary thinking, it is crucial for leaders to also have the capacity to convey the process of fitting all the pieces together to accomplish the desired results of their new and visionary thinking. By first seeing what others may not yet see and having the ability to convey the implementation process, leaders then need to set aside their egos and let those more capable of implementation perform their role.

3.       Listen to learn, then lead
Leaders don’t necessarily have to be charismatic, but they must be compelling in their ability to help others embrace the cultural values that drive the organization’s success. That requires a strong ability to be silent, to listen intently, and to provide the gift of feedback that demonstrates that you have truly heard what others have said. Listening at all levels of the organization fosters openness and sharing and expands the opportunities to succeed.

4.      Operate in a learning mode
Honor the insights and knowledge of others, believing that you can learn from everyone. Engage people purposefully at all levels, knowing that the distance between the front line and senior leadership is often so great that one small piece of information may have tremendous impact. Your continual quest for learning will build loyalty and respect and be a motivator for others to continue to learn.

5.       Do what’s right and tell the truth
During uncertain times, people need to know that a leader is making just and right decisions. In the face of uncertainties, being honest, direct, and truthful enables people to move forward with faith. It gives them hope.

6.      Create trust
During times of uncertainty, the need for trust intensifies. While trust begins with telling the truth, it intensifies when consistency is maintained. Actions do speak louder than words and your people will definitely be watching to see if you walk your talk during difficult times.

7.      Demonstrate genuine care for your people
If you want your people to feel good about working for your company, you must demonstrate that you feel good about your people. You can’t fake caring. Engage in moments of small talk to convey your genuine interest in people. Take time to be visible and sensitive to their emotional needs. Remember, you mirror the emotion of the organization during turbulent times, and your job as a leader is to comfort the worries of those more fearful than you.

8.       Follow your intuition
In crucial times of decision, the best of the best admit they follow gut instinct. During turbulent times, proper use of intuition speeds the decision process at a time when quick decisions are often needed the most. But, remember, intuition comes best to a prepared mind.

9.      Encourage your people to take risk
The ultimate challenge for leaders is to balance the risk of absorbing uncertainty with the capacity at which individuals can function without suffering burnout or dysfunction. During turbulent times, risk is required—almost mandatory. The leader’s role is to cushion the risk by providing support and encouragement, and knowing and drawing from your people’s best capabilities. When your people have been willing to take risks, celebrate the success; acknowledge it, and champion it.

10.    Honor the importance of balance
Times of uncertainty call for leaders to demonstrate a delicate mix of sensitivity with a steely determination and drive, yet to clearly let people know that they are valued and cared about above the bottom line. That means encouraging people to take time to refresh and regenerate.

With today’s new threats of terrorism and the need for reforms in corporate governance, there has been no greater time in the past decade for leaders to display confidence and stability by demonstrating these leadership traits.  Now is the time for true leaders, and the leaders who can genuinely demonstrate honesty, integrity, a quest for realistic profits, while genuinely valuing their people, will be the leaders who will have an incredible edge on those who continue to lead in unrealistic, self-serving ways.

Bette Price is an author, consultant, and professional speaker who is president of The Price Group. She is the co-author of True Leaders: How Exceptional CEOs and Presidents Make A Difference by Building People and Profits (Dearborn Trade Press, December 2001). Contact her at or


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