In the last 2 weeks we have been witness to an incredible economic impact due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A large number of businesses have closed or had their sales drastically drop and multitudes of people have been terminated, laid off or simply have no work available, as businesses struggle to survive.
Many leaders such as small business owners are also struggling to survive as the business that is their livelihood is threatened as well.
And some leaders who have had to scale back their employees have opted to take a hit themselves by reducing their salaries significantly. And a handful are simply not taking a salary at all.
Here are a couple of examples of leaders who have taken that sacrifice to make their people feel secure:
While it’s great to see many business owners, leaders and executives sacrifice on behalf of their staff and company, there are still those leaders who have cut back staff and not taken any reductions themselves.
These types of leaders pose the question about their culture and your leadership:
Are Your Employees Safe By You?
The video below from a TED Talk by Simon Sinek describes the type of leadership in where people feel safe becuase the sacrifice of the leader becomes the focus of how to protect the group as a whole.
It is during these times of hardship that the survival instinct of people come to the forefront, and shows the true character of a person and their leadership.
While this flies in the face of so-called conventional leadership wisdom and application, time have changed and so has what business is all about.
And there is evidence from economists and business that this sacrificial attitude should be more prevalent. An article in Forbes last week outlined the reasons that CEOs should take pay cuts before firing workers, and Harvard Business Review outlined why this coronavirus crisis should not have to lead to lead to layoffs.
As a family would feel safe by the parent that protects the children that rely on them, or the military platoon by their commander, a leader in any organization must ensure that their people feel safe.
Even if there are hard decisions that need to be made that affect the people under their charge, if the leader doesn’t also sacrifice then the capacity of those people to trust and follow after the crisis is over is essentially gone.
A leader’s main purpose is to work to make their employees feel safe in every circumstance. Sometimes if takes a great deal of sacrifice from the leader to make their employees feel safe by them.
The type of leader you are is determined by your people’s level of safety and trust in your putting yourself on the front lines as well?
It’s most likely the one thing that will be your organization, and yourself, through this current crisis.
During challenging times, our attitudes and outlook can get distorted, negative and despairing at times.
By keeping the right perspective, we can encourage others to see through difficult times and keep our organizations, companies and communities connected and intact.
Here’s how to keep a right perspective:
- Know that nothing is ever permanent, and troubling times are temporary as well.
- Taking the time to reassess your goals.
- Refine your plans and strategy.
- Serve others. Lose yourself in meeting other people’s needs.
- Humor. Laughter is the best medicine. Appropriate humor can cheer up the soul and redirect hopelessness.
- Cast a strong and broad vision to others.
- Appreciate what you have.
- Exercise. Stretch. Breathe.
- Be thankful. Thank others. Appreciate the people you connect with.
- Find the road through and what will be on the other side.
Thoughts and activities like these help gain a more sober view of what is going on and can greatly encourage you in your efforts to inspire others to do the same.
Know that nothing is ever permanent, and troubling times are temporary as well.Tweet
Only through the proper perspective can we get through a crisis with an intact mindset ready to build others up again.
It may be difficult during an emergency or time of crisis to think along these lines, but a solid leader will usually have her or his eyes on what happens after a difficult time is over.
Our normal tendency during crisis periods is to survive, defend in place, protect our business and our employees, or other mission-critical items that have to be triaged.
Having the ability to steer a crisis towards a better future can be the difference between surviving and thriving after it’s all over.Tweet
And yet the future still needs to be considered during these times as well.
Consider these future-focused thoughts during a time of calamity:
- Rallying the team after pulling through the crisis
- Possible promotions for those who showed tremendous skills and behaviors
- Helping customers recover and get back on their feet
- Developing a new or revised crisis protocol plan
- Finding and developing a new system, technology, product or process that the crisis exposed
- Recovery of your organization, labor force and financial stewardship
While the mission-critical items of getting through a catastrophe intact are paramount, by keeping a mind on the future state that the crisis brings, a great leader can align actions towards faster recovery, quicker reparation of morale, and a stronger financial and operational platform for their organization to move forward … as well as plan better for any future calamities.
Being future-minded in a trying time is a matter of seeing the bigger picture than the crisis that’s present before everyone. Surviving the crisis is Job #1.
Having the ability to steer a crisis towards a better future can be the difference between surviving and thriving after it’s all over.
Stay calm and focused in every situation.