In last few days, I’ve been in constant conversations with various C-Suite leaders, trying to gauge and understanding their narrative on how they see the business situation and to understand their concerns and challenges. Those conversations encouraged me to write this quick one-pager on how to lead in this Covid-19 crisis and economic downturn.
Here are 4 actions to take as leader — I’ve organized it as A, B, C and D of leadership actions!
The first is THE most important — do the rest in whatever order makes sense.
Send out a DAILY communication — email, 2-minute video, voice message — to all of your employees. And remember, it’s not for them — it’s for you and your organization. You must over-communicate during a time like this. And it can be brief — a few sentences or 90-seconds is all that’s needed.
Your team wants to know that you’re in control and sorted. Check this video for what it looks like to being in control: http://bit.ly/ABCD-Leadership. The key is to stick to the facts — no time for rants, philosophies, ideologies, theories, or personal glorification. Present what is happening, don’t sugarcoat, but balance one negative with several positives over the next several days and weeks. And if you have a negative to share, mention it first in the communication — then share what is being done to address it.
Communicate something NOW and send it out — don’t give it too much angst — just do it! Your team will be thankful.
There is a tendency to turn inward and play defensive when something like this happens — but act counter-intuitively and think, “how might we support our customers and community.” Gather teams of employees to brainstorm, then act. The key is giving, giving, giving with no expectation of return. Your customers will remember this when all of this clears up — and it will clear up!
Remember — the best way to combat sadness, depression and sorrow is to help someone else.
Consolidate and Clean Up
Organizations have been running hard for years during the last decade [ok, we had few bumps]. Use this slow time to clean up and consolidate. Focus on the handful of processes that drive the customer and employee experience and improve them. It’s time for sorting and cleaning all aspects of the business. A key focus is on how to make things easier, simpler, better– for customers and employees.
I have a mantra to life — and I teach it to a lot of leaders I coach… Always be “Playful, Passionful, Purposeful”. It’s been helpful, especially during this crisis. You set the tone and momentum for the entire organization.
Stay calm, breath! Stay positive, smile! Stay focused, reimagine!
Stay blessed. Remember, everyday above ground is a good day.