We are in another crucial period for any organisation wanting to come out of the crisis with their best foot forward. Whether you are aiming to come out stronger than you went into it or simply ahead than your competitors, effective leadership is key to achieving your post-covid goals.
We’re lucky. We have leaders in our business that have been through the 2008 recession so it’s not the first major economic challenge we have faced. We’re also fortunate to have clients with very strong leadership meaning that their businesses are already reaching pre-lock-down levels of productivity.
Some clients however, as well as some in the wider business community, have asked us what areas we are focusing on. How are we showing the level of confidence to our teams to make sure that they are approaching challenges head-on?
So, to help other businesses out there, I’ve decided to share my thoughts and suggest the areas I believe you should concentrate on to lead your business beyond the crisis.
The New Normal, The Next Normal, whatever you want to call it, we all need to adapt to new realities. What have the last few months thought you about how your business reacts to crisis? Where do you need to adapt to make sure you can manage these unforeseen circumstances in the future? Now that you have been affected once, show your teams that you’re not going to let the same negative impact happen again.
Even things that worked before are likely going to have to change now. You may need to adapt your business model to meet the changing needs, requirements and concerns of your customers. This goes further. Economically things are going to be very different, so you need to adapt your plans to reflect this.
Make sure you have the right people in the key areas to achieve your goals. We are doing this with a lot of clients at the moment – take stock of who you have and how they can drive their own areas forward.
Use technology to give yourself the edge. Early in the lockdown, we adapted and used video interviewing software to continue interviews and maintain the supply of staff to clients. Identify what tech can give you the advantage that your competitors are missing?
Beware of the hype
The news, colleagues, other business contacts, even friends and family will be full of “new information”, advice and speculation. With the news feed updating so quickly over the last few months, it’s easy to get caught up and react too quickly and overreact. As you receive new information, take stock. Look at the source. Is it reliable? Are they the right person to advise? Think first, get the facts and then react.
Lead people, not situations. Your staff are your biggest advantage. They are unique tools that other businesses don’t have. Listen to them. Don’t force them to work in conditions where they feel unsafe. Consider and adapt to their needs. If they feel respected and valued, they will follow your lead and aim to achieve your vision.
Your strategy should put your people and culture at its core.
Managing existing and new clients
All businesses have just gone through a huge personality test. This has been a great opportunity to showcase our true values and authenticity to our clients. Businesses who have stood by their clients, helped them through difficult times, offering advice and consultancy, will be the ones who’ll continue to thrive.
It has also been a great time to cultivate new relationships, build your brand and let new people know what you and your business stand for.
There’s no doubt that business and society has changed for at least the foreseeable future. What worked in the past might not necessarily work in the future. Your employees will be looking in your direction for guidance. What you do as a leader will shape your businesses’ and their future.