As we are all going through unprecedented times, it’s hard to know what is the right next step. Today, I heard something I thought was interesting – during past crises, our country has accomplished amazing things by coming together. Now we are being asked to stay apart from one another as the right way to do our part. It’s counterintuitive for us as humans who like to make connections. So it’s time to find different ways to connect on a daily basis.
I don’t have any updates on the Corona virus situation that you can’t find on the multitude of media outlet available to us all. As a leadership coach, what I can give you are some of my thoughts to help you navigate and lead in this environment.
-How are you modeling behavior that will help others on your team and/or in your family stay calm and safe? Are you taking care of yourself and your team? Are you asking people to be in situations that may not be comfortable for them?
-When people are working from home, there isn’t the same opportunity to connect like when you’re grabbing a coffee from the kitchen or stopping for a bite to eat at lunch. How can you urge your team to make time for a few minutes here and there to just check in with each other on a human level? E.g., a quick phone call or email not related to business.
-Are you considering the effects of working from home and shutdowns of schools, public places, group activities on people’s lives, not just their jobs? For example, if you have a mom or dad on your team that’s trying to work from home with kids who need to be entertained, this could be impacting how they show up to work. Are you being empathetic to their whole situation not just their performance at the office? Now is a time that we must consider the environment more holistically than ever.
-Dealing with uncertainty even in the best of times can be challenging. In today’s environment, there are so many unknowns that it’s hard to plan ahead. In talking with one of my clients today, we discussed strategies for short and longer term planning/execution. It is important to plan for the future for clients but at the same time, ensure that the plans you recommend have enough flexibility to endure future changes should they be necessary.
-Now more than ever, agency people are being asked to be on the defensive, e.g. cancel productions, change media buys, re-think communication strategies, etc. The best leaders also think strategically about opportunities to go on the offensive. Where can you and your teams be playing the offense and guiding your clients on how they can be doing so?
–During a crisis, it’s human behavior to assert control where you can. As such, senior executives have a natural tendency to make unilateral decisions and not provide their teams the opportunity to weigh in. As a leader, how can you give your high performers an opportunity to help you lead the organization?
Most importantly, this is a time to put politics aside. This is a human issue, not a political issue. We can all help each other through this. I
I’d love to hear your comments and ideas on how you are leading your teams, taking care of your families and making the best out of these very difficult times.
Drop me a note at [email protected] or post a comment. I will be sharing ideas that I receive with the goal being for us all to help each other.