If asked if there is one management trait that 2020 has required more than others, I suggest it would be Courage. As I have stated in previous posts, we do not have a Pandemic Handbook to guide policies and decision making. What have we got? Lots of uncertainty.
A courageous leader has the ability to motivate their team to march forward in challenging times, often into the unknown. As Antarctic researcher David Knoff stated, “Not every day can be sunshine and penguins.” Courageous leaders can use several strategies to effectively manage during uncertain times.
Have open and honest communication. Let people see and hear from you – walk the “virtual” halls. Make it safe for your team to come to you with problems and news, good or bad.
Encourage innovation. Foster an environment of creativity where new ideas are welcomed and discussed. The world is different than it was a year ago. Has your business changed, or are you waiting for everything to return to “normal?” Have the courage to try something new. Not all new ideas will work, but there might be that one golden nugget that can transform your business.
Keep meetings productive. Virtual meetings, while useful, have become draining and disruptive for many people. Before you schedule a meeting, ask, “Is this meeting necessary? What will we accomplish?” Every meeting needs to have an agenda posted in advance, then adhere to it. Each meeting participant should understand the desired outcome of the meeting. When a non-productive discussion starts, courageous leaders ask that it take place another time. If this sounds like extra work, it is initially. The payoff is shorter, more effective meetings and higher productivity.
Look towards the future. Yes, managing day to day operations is a large part of your job. Be courageous enough to always be looking forward. Watch for areas that will benefit from innovation, or those that no longer serve the vision of the company. Challenge and inspire your team to build the future.
The pandemic, social unrest, and the state of the economy have put us into a challenging environment. Running a business in 2020 may not be exactly like trekking across Antarctica; however, it does call for courageous leadership. You are just the person to do it.
Ready to get started? Contact us for a leadership consultation.
Author: Sandy Merritt