Master the challenges of leadership in real time

Urs Merkel
March 7, 2024

In a world that is constantly changing and where decisions often have to be made in a matter of seconds, real-time leadership has become an essential skill for leaders in all sectors. This article aims to explain the key elements of real-time leadership and suggest practical measures to master it effectively.

Self-management as a foundation

The foundation of leadership in real time is strong self-management. A manager must have their own affairs structured and organized in such a way that there is sufficient space and resources for the concerns and needs of their team members. This also includes proactively scheduling time slots for questions and discussions in order to promote a culture of open communication. This structured flexibility allows a manager to react quickly to new information and navigate their team effectively through the workday.

Core qualities of real-time guidance

Real-time leadership requires more than just good organizational skills; it also requires mindfulness, emotional intelligence and a clear sense of purpose. Leaders must be able to be present in the moment, recognize and understand the emotional needs of their team and align everyone towards a common goal. Continuously communicating the vision and reiterating the common goal keeps the team motivated and focused.

Understanding situational leadership

The true art of leadership in real time lies in the ability to dynamically adapt the leadership style to the situation and the needs of the team. This can range from autocratic leadership in times of crisis, to tactful leadership with clear goals, coaching leadership to develop team members, to democratic leadership in decision-making processes. An effective leader recognizes which style is most effective at which moment and adapts their behaviour accordingly.

Action measures for effective real-time management

  1. Self-reflection and self-development: Dedicate yourself continuously to self-reflection and self-development in order to strengthen your self-management. This can be done through regular feedback sessions, coaching or further training.
  2. Establish communication channels: Establish clear and diverse communication channels to ensure that information can be shared quickly and effectively.
  3. Promote emotional intelligence: Work on your emotional intelligence to better understand and respond to the needs and emotions of your team.
  4. Set clear goals: Define clear, measurable goals and communicate them regularly to your team to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.
  5. Flexibility in leadership styles: Develop the ability to adapt your leadership style according to the situation in order to respond effectively to the needs of your team and the demands of the situation.


Real-time leadership is a complex but rewarding challenge that requires a combination of self-management, mindfulness, emotional intelligence and situational adaptability. By integrating these elements into their daily practice and continuously working on their own development, leaders can successfully guide their team through the unpredictability of modern working life. The key to success lies in a willingness to learn, adapt and proactively respond to the ever-changing demands of real-time leadership.

Urs Merkel
September 1, 2023