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How Leaders Can Motivate And Lead A Team During A Market Crash When you are leading a team, it means you should be able to navigate the temporary turmoil just as well as you would master a smooth transaction.

By Firas Al Msaddi

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Challenges are a normal part of the business- that's a fact. People say that during downturns, the only thing you can do is to control cost. I say, cost control is essential, but we also need to identify targeted areas to invest ourselves in. If I don't invest during down markets, we would be missing on a serious opportunity to have a new financial breakthrough. I actually started Fam Properties, one of the major market leaders in Dubai real estate market, during the peak of the 2009 real estate crisis.

It is important to factor the worst-case scenario and make sure that it does not break the backbone of the business. Being a leader and an effective one is all about setting the psychological tone in every situation- both good and bad. Once you are in terms with scenarios around, you are able to identify underlying opportunities, because I believe no one knows the tipping point of the peak of good times nor of the bottom of the bad times. Moreover, I think, a challenging market is an enabler, an opportunity for a true performer to shine. It is in challenging markets, that there is a lot more room for fairness; bureaucracy, politics, and favoritism are limited.

Related: Crowdsourcing Customer Acquisition: A Cost-Effective Way To Gain Customers For Your Startup

When you are leading a team, it means you should be able to navigate the temporary turmoil just as well as you would master a smooth transaction. In fact, sometimes a leader is able to use this frantic time to capitalize and gain opportunities out of it. Surviving or thriving during times of uncertainty depends on your ability to get your team moving with strength and confidence.

Take a look at the United Arab Emirates, wherein the past 40 years of massive transformation by the legendary leaders, set the perfect example for most of us who aspire to lead teams effectively. The word challenge and crisis have always meant opportunity and possibility in the history of this nation. And that's the only way forward in downturns.

1. Transparency

At Fam Properties, we've always shared and acknowledged the present market challenges. This is what gives the team faith in your plan to save the day, while it also allows us as leaders to instill the ultimate interest alignment amongst the team.

While transparency fosters a culture of trust between the leader and the employer, it also paves the way for faster, more effective solutions with the help of teamwork. This work environment of transparency also ensures engaged employees as everyone is included and part of the solution process.

2. Listening and assuring

Being present, being focused and listening can have a huge impact on the motivation levels of the employees. During downturns, I give my team a genuine sense of assurance that if we do what it takes, we will not just weather out the downturn, but we will also capitalize on opportunities as we go.

Remember as Tim Ferris says, "it is far more lucrative and fun to leverage your strengths, instead of attempting to fix all the chinks in your armor." The choice is yours and the difference between a leader and a great leader is that the latter will take his team where they ought and deserve to be.

3. Being practical and planning

Being clear and communicative about how the team and company plans to move forward will help bring a calm amongst your employees. No matter what it is, talk it out and openly discuss the plan of action. Ensure that everyone in the team is able to perceive the challenges as an opportunity.

Share a practical plan, explaining what needs to be executed by each member of the team; The math must add up to them. This creates more visibility for them and also brings about a sense of forthrightness leading up to the team bouncing back. From there, it is up to you again to maintain the momentum created.

4. Training and development

In booming markets, rarely do people get a chance to maximize productivity. Things are moving smoothly, work is done and executed. Instill a feeling of gratefulness in the team and use the time to work on training and development. It is not always about taking up opportunities, but how fast you recognize them and take them up.

Learning organization, a term that was conceived by American system scientist Peter Senge, talks about an effective organization as being a learning organization at heart. A team that learns and grow together will be able to recognize problem-solving capacities within the organization more vividly.

As a leader when you offer and facilitate training and education for your team, this indicates your value for your people and the contribution they make. This raises the moral and forms a lasting impact in the minds of the employees, naturally creating attachment, loyalty and enthusiasm among staff.

5. Consistency

Keeping consistent and repeating all the above is a key for me. As leaders, you are leading by example. To be successful, you must be heard and trusted. How you are consistently focused on a goal and a mission, sets the tone for your team.

The most important thing for a company is to have engaged, motivated employees who are performing consistently. When you remain consistent in your mindset and efforts during distress, you are creating habits and standards of your team for the long run. When the market is booming, everyone profits as the sales go up, employees are motivated and perceive everything as positive. It is during the tougher times that you have the chance to create the right practices when your team is going to have to see things in a more practical, realistic way.

Related: Five Ways To Create An Affordable Marketing Plan

Firas Al Msaddi

CEO and Executive Chairman - fäm Properties

Firas Al Msaddi, 35, is the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Chairman of fäm Properties (founded 2009), one of the largest, most successful Real estate firm in the UAE. The firm exclusively manages and runs a real estate investment portfolio of over AED 2 billion mainly in Dubai with a further AED300 million internationally. 

On a yearly basis, since 2012, fäm Properties has been recognized as the best top sales performing brokerage for all major mega master developers including but not limited to Dubai Holding, EMAAR, MERAAS, and Meydan. And for two consecutive years, 2017/18 & 2018/19 recognized by DLD as the highest transacting agency in Dubai. 

Apart from leading the huge firm, Firas also manages an investment portfolio for ultra-high net worth individuals in the GCC, while other businesses that he created within the fäm Group are fäm Real Estate Development Advisory, fäm Interior Design, fäm Media 24/7 and fäm Living.

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