3 Leadership Principles to Guide You Through Crisis – and Beyond
Remember that course in business school “How to survive a global pandemic”?
No, neither do I. And in the absence of a crystal ball, no business owner could have predicted the impact that the Coronavirus outbreak would have on their staff, suppliers – and their profits.
For many, the pandemic has been a crash-course in crisis management which has put even the most experienced leaders to the test.
So how have you responded? When we return to some kind of normality, will you look back on this time as a valuable period of reflection, reviewing and planning? Perhaps your business will be even stronger for the experience. Or will you be playing catch-up as your competitors leave you for dust?
Every company will have its own unique set of requirements and goals, but there are some specific leadership traits that will give you a headstart as we navigate through lockdown, and look to the future.
Yes, the pandemic was unexpected. But running a business is full of surprises, isn’t it? A supplier going bust, or a new technology that will threaten demand for your product are just two of the hundreds of examples I could give you.
Did you know that Blockbuster Video (in its day a brilliant innovation that created a whole new marketplace and a high margin retail mega-business) had the opportunity to buy Netflix? They turned it down based on an illusion of strength and blindness to a looming seismic shift in the market.
Whether it was a lack of vision, or the inability to accept the threat to their place as market leader that led to its demise we can only speculate. A successful leader though will be one step ahead, recognise a golden opportunity for growth, and adapt the business to rise to the challenge.
During this pandemic all business owners have an opportunity to take a hard look at their business and reshape it. Update your existing strategy or build a new one. Your business should not just serve your customers and employees, it should serve you, the owner, the person who takes the responsibility and risk.
Living month to month, hoping there’s enough money in the bank to cover payroll isn’t a sustainable strategy for long-term success. Reviewing your goals and then setting out a plan of action to reach them, is. I’m not one of those people who suggest ‘successful’ people sit back in their chair and make magic happen. Business is hard work. But if you’re acting without a plan, your results will be down to luck, rather than judgement. If you don’t have a clear, written strategy for your goals and how you’re going to reach them, it’s time to shift gears.
Adapting to the situation, having a clear plan of action and communicating your strategy to your workforce leads you to the ultimate leadership principle: strength. A strong leader has courage in their conviction. They know where they’re going and why. And most importantly they know how they’re going to get there. This inspires trust and confidence in your employees and has a knock-on effect on your customers.
Above all, the strongest leaders know that they can’t do it alone. During lockdown, the courageous leaders spent their time talking to advisors, getting the best minds together to project scenarios and create solutions to lead their businesses into stronger positions.
We’re stronger together. If you need help with leading your business to a brighter future contact us or give Paul a call on 01923 800444.