COVID-19 virus: What leader shifts do you need to make?

We’re leading in extraordinary times to make business work in light of the pandemic COVID-19 virus.

Leading in uncertain times like these isn’t easy and for many it’s been a hell of a week or so with containment strategies being developed, updated and executed on the run.

Talking with clients over the past few days, I’ve been hearing about room sanitisation post group meetings, who can / can’t be in meetings with each other, remote working arrangements, and gatherings cancelled. I’ve just read an email advising Simon Sinek’s Australian tour has been postponed.

Who knows what the few weeks and months will bring. Whether you’re best-case scenario (carrying on as normal) or worst-case scenario prepared, or somewhere in between, your leadership right now matters.

How well equipped are you to lead though all of this uncertainty? Are your leaders equipped?

Consider these three frames:

Thinking: How are you shaping people’s mindsets as their reactions to fear and uncertainty play out? How is your relationship to risk and uncertainty playing out that might be impacting how you are showing up to others? What’s the environment you want to create for your team right now?

When faced with uncertainty, our instinctual need for safety kicks in. People seek stability to help them make sense of what’s happening.

Planning: How are you setting up your team(s) to work remotely and flexibly as required? What sick leave impact are you planning for? What other change dimensions are you anticipating, working around and reforecasting?

Action: How are you leveraging technology so that as much as possible, you minimise impacts on momentum, teamwork and results? How can you galvanise the value of your people in different ways?

Your leadership to the COVID-19 virus situation will impact how others experience it.

Adaptability is the ability to change something to fit new circumstances.

What leader shifts do you need to make to lead well in the current climate, in how you:

  • show vulnerability, compassion or empathy and empathy or give clear direction others will trust and follow
  • manage the varying needs of your team
  • structure work being done flexibly and remotely as required
  • make decisions and solve problems differently
  • create new benchmarks and goals so people know what they are responsible for and what is expected.
  • acknowledge, praise and give feedback.

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