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A leader’s role is to paint a vision and then influence, empower, and inspire others to action no matter the current circumstance. That summarily defines the leader of all seasons. Leadership styles should by no means be a “one size fits all.” In fact, leaders cannot afford that. The leader must be able to adapt to the current circumstance they find to achieve the main goal(s) be it during times of growth, crisis, and uncertainty. In such times, leaders need to exhibit some traits that will set them apart. I will share them in the subsequent paragraphs.  


Many people misinterpret being empathetic as stroking the ego of “soft” or “lazy” people. Nothing can be further from the truth. Empathy is the simply understanding and sharing other people’s feelings. And it can be tough or emotional feedback. Imagine a direct report who lost a relative 3 months ago and has since then performed poorly reflecting on last quarter’s results. As a leader your job is to show empathy by making available necessary support during and after the mourning period. Your role is also to assess their mental state, let them know what is at stake or decide what is best for all parties involved going forward. Leaders of all seasons show empathy and are more likely to build trust, loyalty, and commitment among their people.  

During challenging times, or times to effect change, leaders need to listen and provide emotional support. They need to possess effective communication skills, active listening, and the ability to make tough decisions  


Or I should say purpose? A leader with purpose has an end goal in mind. Just imagine a politician with a manifesto that reels out his/her plans if elected with a duty to serve. That last bit governs their actions including ensuring that promises are kept. They are connected to their constituents to feel their pulse with zero optics. Consistency is critical for an effective leadership of all seasons. Leaders who are consistent in their behaviour, decision-making, and communication build trust and respect among their people. They also create a sense of stability and predictability, which is critical during times of uncertainty. 


This is yet another essential trait for effective leadership of all seasons. Like in our local parlance in Nigeria, we say “problem no dey finish.” Which means that problems will always exist. Even during times of growth or dip in sales, problems will always exist. Imagine a Cassava processing startup looking to expand into another country. How to scale then becomes a problem to solve. Though the example is a good problem to have, not managing it properly can have disastrous outcomes. A Leader of all seasons must be able to identify and address problems quickly and effectively too. They need to be creative and innovative in finding solutions to complex problems. They also need to involve their team members in the problem-solving process, which can help to build a sense of ownership and commitment.  


Character is an integral aspect of an effective leader of all seasons. Leaders need to demonstrate integrity, honesty, and a strong work ethic. They need to lead by example and hold themselves accountable for their decisions and actions. They should own up to their mistakes, apologize when things go south, and work towards righting their missteps. 


Team building and establishing a sense of camaraderie are also critical for effective leadership in all seasons. Leaders need to create a positive work environment that fosters teamwork, collaboration, and open communication. They need to encourage their people to support each other and work together to achieve common goals. 


Finally, sound decision-making is critical for effective leadership. Leaders need to be able to make tough decisions quickly and effectively. They need to be able to analyse situations, consider different perspectives, and make informed decisions based on the available information. This is one of the traits that has given some leaders a cult following. Their ability to read the room, situations, and impact on the future.  

Leadership is essential in every season in an organisation’s life cycle, and it is important to the success of any organization. By possessing effective communication skills, empathy, active listening, and the ability to make tough decisions, a leader can inspire and motivate their team to achieve their goals and weather any storm that comes their way.