FOUR STRATEGIES FOR LEADING DURING UNCERTAIN TIMES
WHAT EVERY BUSINESS SHOULD DO DURING A PANDEMIC
Courageous leaders have the ability to use their intelligent mind and not get trapped in fear during uncertain times. The ability to face and adapt to rapid change has become essential. Helping staff cope with the accelerated change is essential in driving the mission forward. Having a laser-specific vision and communicating it to stakeholders is what great leaders do well.
1. Re-evaluate your values We are being propelled into a massive change unlike that of any other time in history. The majority of businesses throughout the world have been disrupted, millions of people are staying home, and many can’t work at all. It is critical to re-evaluate what is most important to you and create values that guide your thoughts and beliefs.
2. Express your vision. Leading with distinction requires that you tap into your intelligent mind. Having the clarity of why you got into business in the first place and how your product delivers on a specific need is contagious. Ask yourself, “what can we do to serve our customers in this time of great suffering?” Leading with enthusiasm and conviction will provide more certainty for your staff.
3. Be nimble. We all know that creating an action map for your business is important. What can be challenging is knowing when to be flexible in altering that strategy. Beware of remaining certain about an old plan. Today’s business environment requires that we are nimble when the situation requires it. We are in a time of massive change, and the way we used to do things is no longer an option. Being nimble as a courageous leader requires that you tap into our intelligent mind and adapt to change.
4. Over-communicate. Uncertainty breeds anxiety. Anxiety breeds suspicion. What is the natural response when going through a business apocalypse? To shut up and not tell the staff. As a courageous leader, you’ve hired staff that are smarter than you in their area of expertise. These stakeholders can sense what is going on. Withdrawing and not communicating will create dissension, and, in many cases, a culture of fear.
In good times, a newsletter or memo is a satisfactory way to communicate good news. In bad times, frequent verbal and LIVE online communication with staff, customers, and vendors is purpose-driven leadership.
a. Hold more meetings with staff. Many businesses have shut down the workplace. Many business types have their employees working from home. Make sure that you check in with them often. Let your team know that you feel their pain. Hold frequent LIVE online video meetings. Having regular meetings could inspire new leadership. New ways of leveraging assets and developing strategies for driving the mission forward could also result.
b. Over-communicate with your customers. Now is the time to show your customers that you care about them. If at all possible, suspend sales efforts and use this time to get to know the needs of your clients better. Let them know that you feel their pain and want to help.
c. Over-communicate with your audience. Now is the time to accelerate your marketing budget. You can purchase online advertising for 50%-90% off. Many businesses have cut back on their ad spend because they are functioning with their emotional mind and not their intelligent mind. Those that can tap into their emotional intelligence will prosper during this time.
Look back in history and study the companies that were start-ups during economic downturns. Businesses like Disney, IBM, Chevron, Fed-Ex, Whole Foods, and Apple were all started during really hard times. Don’t buy into the drama that engulfs so many right now. Use this time to become better.
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