How should you lead during this presidential transition?

As part of an op-ed series, FIU News shares the expertise and diverse perspectives of members of the university community. In this piece, Nathan Hiller, associate professor in the Department of Management and International Business and academic director for FIU Center for Leadership, shares how effective leaders should lead during the U.S. presidential transition.



By Nathan Hiller

Over the coming months leaders should keep one thing in mind: to a large extent, it doesn’t matter what YOU think about this presidential transition. Effective leadership is often not about you.

Much of effective leadership is about your employees and your team, who, for the most part, are the ones getting things done. Effective leaders know how to read their people and give them what they need to be productive. That means getting them the right tools or software, creating the right organizational structure, and giving them the right amount of direction and mentoring. Importantly, it also means meeting people’s psychosocial needs.

After the election cycle and during this U.S. presidential transition, some people’s nerves are extra heightened. For some it is outright excitement about the future. For others it is apprehension. Others are most concerned about the uncertainty. For the perceiver who is scared, or worried or even excited at this moment, their thoughts and reactions ARE real to them – meaning that there is potential for effects on their performance.

So what can actually happen? When employees are in a heightened state of emotion for a moderate or prolonged period of time (particularly if they do not feel like they have a sense of control), a few things can happen, both of which should be of concern to a leader.

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