Updated: Feb 2
The 21st century is forcing us to rethink the way we do business. For some, they are pivoting the “what” and “how” to keep their business afloat during these ever-changing times. Now planning for the next crisis while still trying to run and scale your business has become an art form, and leadership teams are in a fight or flight mode. The lines between work-life and personal-life are even more blurred with no commute and home school as our new normal. The time for clear, confident leadership has never been more important.
The good, the bad, and the out of business.
The pandemic has shed light on existing issues and magnified what was not working before. Some companies were forced to downsize and face the additional challenge of delegating the excess work to the remaining team while still maintaining an exceptional customer experience. Others were forced to close their doors altogether. Unless you are both mentally and financially prepared to change, pivot, and respond, pandemics, economic downturns, and any other natural disaster can and will take you out of the market.
Flip the script.
The negative perception companies once had about remote workforces is now no longer optional. Those businesses that have successfully pivoted to remote working environments are implementing workflows and innovative technology to support their teams and hiring people from all over the country and the world.
There is a glass half full view during such an unpredictable time. The companies that moved to a remote environment afforded both themselves and their team a commute-free workday, which can have benefits. For some, this eliminates commuting 3+ hours a day, and they are now able to spend more time with their families. Now, there’s a space where people can perform and think at a higher, more efficient level.
This is the period where your leadership is being tested. You must ask yourself, how clear is your communication? Do you leave room for uncertainty? A strong leader possesses the ability to effectively communicate and make sound decisions for the betterment of the company, which can determine if the business sinks or swim. While the job market, employee, and customer loyalty have all shifted to a free-market structure, there is no better time than the present for exceptional leadership. What is needed from you is a plan and a clear, consistent way of communicating that plan.
When I began writing this eBook, the pandemic and all it revealed had not hit the news yet. We were still in a very hopeful, forward-thinking 2020. Once the pandemic truly began to unfold, it quickly revealed companies’ weaknesses in addressing a crisis and their inability to adjust to a rapidly changing environment.
First, having a working continuity plan that you can deploy remotely, in-office, part-time, or shutdown will prove to be in the top 10 best investments you make for your business when crisis strikes.
Next, know your position in the market. Is it time for you to pivot your business, take your brand in a new direction, or expand your product offering? I would encourage you to continually plan to evolve your brand. Ensure you have an up-to-date competitor analysis and stay ahead of the competitive curve. I would not encourage you to begin planning to expand your brand because of a crisis.
Finally, work and rework any ambiguity from your external communications. Phrases such as yea, sure, and fine, can be interpreted as short, curt, and abrupt. You can’t change what you’ve already sent but proof any communications to ensure the tone remains authentic. Ensure the message that you want to convey is clear to you and your recipients. Remember, they are not in your thought process. If you do not control the message and your tone, the recipients will create their own.
In conclusion, your actions, language, and leadership skills are being more closely observed than you may think, take control as the leader.
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