*Source of image from internet*
In March 2020, the world saw a complete mess – The Mess Of Covid 19. Initially all of us thought that the crisis situation would get over in a month or two but now it is proved that we have to live with it. So it’s time we get back to normalcy – The New Normal.
The New Normal Way of living with an enhanced hygiene, taking precautions, increasing immunity and getting back to work in a different way. It’s time for a change in working model and an overall change in leadership to a Crisis Leadership Model. There cannot be a specific formula for the way forward as the situation itself is too dynamic and demanding. We have to bat as the ball comes.
So, let’s be prepared for change management and uncertainty. The leadership team of an organization would play a pivotal role in the same. As a leadership team member you have to adopt the style of crisis leadership wherein you take quick decisions, exhibit the right behaviour, be ready for adhoc changes and implement the same across board. In the midst of everything, demonstrating the right behaviour and cascading the same across the organization is the key. As aptly quoted by Donald Mcgannon – “Leadership is not a position or a title, it is action and example”.
We have always known that actions speak louder than words. As leaders, we should remember that how we behave and hold the fort without losing stability during crisis situation is how the team members would look upon us. Every action we take, determines our Brand Image. Crisis would go away in a year or two but our Brand Image would linger with us throughout.
Here are few key points which would help is sail through this storm effectively :
- Accept the situation : The first and foremost for every leadership team member is to accept the situation and the new normal way of working. Most of us are not used to remote working with the team but that does not mean that they cannot be productive. It’s upto us, how we drive the team. If we are able to work globally, we can also work with our domestic team, working remotely. So focus on productivity rather than place of work
- Care : This is indeed the time to demonstrate that we really care for our team members. All this while most of us have integrated, ‘Care’ as our key value and now we need to live upto it. We don’t need to do much but just few basic things such as asking people how they are doing, would they need any help, regular informal connects etc. We need to remember that this is the time where we need to focus on creating a real Engaged Workforce
- Being Connected : Being connected with the team is the most important aspect. As leaders, we need to remember that it is our responsibility to stay connected with the team and not vice versa. Drive away the silly assumptions as that would actually make the difficult situation more difficult
- Proactive Communication : The current epidemic is big but it has been made humungous with the contribution of fake messages floating around. Let’s proactively catch up with the team and communicate as to how we are doing in terms of business, revenue growth, resource utilisation etc. Let us be ready to face the questions from the team and answer them responsibly
Crisis leadership is about accepting the challenge, facing it and driving the whole organization towards the decided organization goals. There is no harm in having a conservative organization goal when the overall economy is crazy. The ultimate goal of every leadership in the difficult times should be based on a survival strategy. A survival strategy which would save the ship from sinking along with the entire the crew.