It is an interesting, unprecedented time for our businesses, and there are certainly no textbooks to consult to get us through Covid-19. Leadership is key for businesses to survive and we know how to grow leaders.
It’s about creating a fine balance between a number of complementary contradictions that we’ve identified.
IT’S ALL ABOUT ME vs IT’S NOT ABOUT ME
On an aeroplane, we are told that in an event of an emergency, we are required to help ourselves before attempting to assist fellow passengers. Covid-19 is an emergency, but before business leaders can help their teams, they need to ensure they have their oxygen masks firmly in place. By this I mean that leaders need to ensure that their behaviour is not self-sabotaging. Accept what you cannot control and focus on what you can control. Take ownership and responsibility and stop lamenting and being the victim. You’ve built a business before. You can do it again. Show up, and be the leader your business needs.
Because at the end of the day, it’s not about you. As much as you are worried about the impact of Covid-19 on your business, so too are your team, suppliers and customers, and without them, you don’t have a business. It’s highly likely your team is concerned about job retention and possible layoffs. Your suppliers and customers are concerned about getig back into full production as soon as possible. Focus on helping them through this period by adding value.
SAFETY CRITERIA vs COMFORT ZONE
To move forward, you need to ensure you are operating within your psychological safety criteria. Think about the behaviours, interactions, activities that make you feel safe in your work and your role. Build your plan going forward within your safety criteria so that the first step is not so scary.
However, this is not the same as operating within your comfort zone. At times like this, you have to do things differently, and you need to step outside your comfort zone. Your comfort zone limits growth and change. Right now, we need to operate in a learning zone, where we find new solutions to deal with the challenges, acquire new skills and create a new reality.
TRANSACTIONAL MANAGEMENT vs TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP
Transactional managers focus on supervision, organisation and performance to promote compliance. During this disruptive time, if your employees are working remotely, your management skills need to be more fine-tuned than ever. The dynamics that existed before lockdown haven’t changed, and you can expect that whatever characteristics you team had prior to this period are likely to be the same or exaggerated in the virtual environment. Non-performers are likely to slack off and high performers are likely to be frustrated that they can’t get out there. Both need to be carefully managed.
At the same time, you need to show up as a leader rather than as a manager. Transformational leadership is about encouraging, inspiring, and motivating employees to innovate and create change that will help grow and shape the future success of the company. You need to be a role model that your team can copy. You should be coaching them through this period. Acknowledge their constraints and stimulate them intellectually.
CRISIS MANAGEMENT vs PROACTIVE MANAGEMENT
While the Covid-19 has been declared a National Disaster, and we can definitely call it a crisis, it’s vitally important not to go into crisis management mode. Crisis management implies chaos, putting out fires and being totally reactive and out of control.
What we need from leaders right now is proactive planning. With the extended lockdown, you now have another 2 weeks that you can use to develop a plan for your business for the next 90 days. Most businesses are in a position now where they need to revise their budgets and forecasts. You need to set new goals for the next quarter that are realistic, specific, a little uncomfortable, measurable and deadline driven.
LAW OF ATTRACTION vs THE LAW OF PRECESSION
The law of attraction is about attracting what we focus on. The more you think about negative outcomes, the more likely they are to occur. Conversely, when you focus on positive outcomes, you increase the chances of success. Now, more than ever, you need to think positively and be optimistic and use the power of your mind to translate your thoughts into reality.
However, it’s not good enough to just think about something and hope you attract it. The “Law of Precession” states that nothing moves until something acts. So for example, if you just focus on money in the bank, nothing happens. However, if you focus on what precedes that, such as servicing the client, you are more likely to get paid. So the law of precession is the law of action. Focus on the actions you can take to keep your customers paying.
Business leaders and owners are generally usually lonely. At times like this, even more so. I am here to assist you through Covid-19… give me a call.
Watch the full webinar presentation on the above topic.