Being able to think of a new or unique idea is an asset, but the ability to convert that idea into a practical solution is priceless. Though most leaders share some common virtues and attributes such as vision, composure, agility, maturity, pro-activeness, and body language, it often takes more than that to stand out in a crowd during difficult situations.

In desperate times, a leader has to take initiative, develop a sight that goes beyond the problem, and analyze cause and effect in the big picture. Here is a collection of a few attributes that help leaders prepare to face the business challenges ahead.

Analyzing Business Positioning:

Understand business positioning is important as it relates to the overall business strategy execution. Brand positioning must be clearly defined and re-evaluated from time to time to differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors in terms of cost, target market, marketing strategy, and tactics.

Watching Out For Trends:

Being vigilant in terms of consumer buying behavior, the stock market, and other economic indicators helps anticipate change and make pro-active decisions instead of rushing into a situation with no clue.

Understanding the Business Ecosystem:

Be aware of internal, external, and connected ecosystems in which the business is positioned in order to identify areas of leverage and opportunity that your competitors lack.

Defining Value:

Characterize value from your customer’s perspective,i.e.,what are their present and future needs.

Striving for Innovation:

Look to bring novelty in your products and services. It is understood that R&D requires considerable funds and resources, but sometimes market research leads you to innovate your product design or re-positioning instead of new product development, which can help you sustain your products or services even in a saturated market.

Getting Your People and Processes Aligned:

Aligning your people (employees) and processes in an organization can allow you to respond quickly to any new development, technology or change. No matter how good a plan is, it can never be achieved without collaborative efforts. Learn to appreciate and praise your team for their efforts which can bail you out of difficult circumstances and situations.

Taking Ownership:

Even with the best of planning and preparation, things can go wrong. A leader should be brave enough to accept responsibility for his/her decisions if something doesn’t go according to the plan. Maintaining your composure, positive frame of mind, and self-belief is the key which can help you win the war even if you lose a battle.

Being a leader requires you to not only be proactive but to be flexible and adaptable too. The ability to anticipate change, analyze trends, and forecast the outcomes of your decisions helps you in handling difficult situations with ease.