Finding Balance in Times of Crisis

Friday, May 15, 2009 by Ivor Dickinson

In this time of economic crisis in Britain, we need our leaders to stand strong more than ever and give us sound advice. However, leaders are people too, and while some people choose to be philosophical about the crisis, others go into a blind panic as soon as someone mentions anything related to the crisis. Top business executives are at the forefront of Britain’s financial affairs so they are feeling the pinch more intensely than most, but at the same time they have to be role models to their employees and the people around them. As we all know, the property market has crashed and burned, yet Ivor Dickinson, managing director of Douglas and Gordon, likes to stay level-headed about the situation and be honest with his employees. He spoke to six other business gurus and this is what he had to say about being the boss, the economic crisis and staying grounded:

“Obviously, as a leader, the one thing you want to do is be confident, because that is what inspires people and makes them want to stay with you, because they think jobs are going to be safe. You do not want to sound as if you are in a panic, which sometimes you are. At the same time, you do not want to have an air of complacency either.

There is a certain feeling that 'I will be fine at Douglas & Gordon, it will survive - all the other estate agents will go bust; I will be fine'. People occasionally need to know this is very serious indeed, so they are going to have to work very hard, and they are probably going to have to take pay-cuts. The balance between panic and total confidence is not quite as straightforward as that”.