As we slowly move into the “recovery” phase of this pandemic, true leaders will need to show their resilience and creativity in the face of these challenges. Business coach Lisa Johnson presents 5 ways leaders can inspire their businesses to flourish by remaining resilient post-COVID-19.
We all have learnt a lot about ourselves and our personalities during this pandemic, and there is still more to learn as we move to the recovery stages. Our ability to flex, prioritise and adapt (sometimes subconsciously) have been elevated to a far more visible platform on a day to day basis!
So, if there is a willingness from leaders to learn from these unexpected and uninvited changes to our very lifestyle, innovation can and must continue to be the true driver of success in all businesses. Although the natural instinct is to cut down on innovation in times like these, to focus on the systems, the processes, the “bread and butter”, evidence strongly suggests that companies should, in fact, do the opposite. Innovation will not cease to be important. The creative instinct that is inherent in us all needs to be allowed to flourish
Maintain and adapt a leader’s Mindset
Skills that were essential to a CEO prior to the outbreak are now absolutely critical; empathy, humility, real listening, flexibility, adaptability, honesty.
Interestingly, many of these traits are traditionally viewed as “fluffy” or “nice to have qualities”. Don’t believe that for a second! Now more than ever, these more “human” skills must be at the forefront of any successful CEO’s skill-set.
Rebuild and maintain trust
During this unprecedented period trust may be thin on the ground, from both your staff and your customers. This needs addressing head-on – trust starts with transparency, being honest and admitting what you know, and perhaps more importantly, what you don’t know.
This continues to be a worrying time for all of us, so maintain an open style – this is more important than charts and graphs. The majority of communication is nonverbal, so encourage the use of video, especially with your teams as the emotional connection is far more impactful than that of emails.
Play the long game
Embrace the long view. It’s worth remembering that despite the obvious challenges a period of uncertainty delivers, it can also create opportunities that smart thinkers can take advantage of. Leaders who embrace a more defined and longer-term business model are able to rewrite accepted processes, creating systems that can become the “new normal.”
Research has shown that businesses that cut costs fastest and most severely are less successful after the economy recovers. The need to not lose sight of long term strategies but still selectively reducing costs to survive the recession will be the traits of an efficient and confident leader.
One of the biggest lessons this period has shown us is the need to have more than one income stream. If anything like this was ever to happen again, your businesses will be more stable. It’s never a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket!
This time of recovery can be a really exciting time for entrepreneurs and history has shown us that with resilience, businesses can thrive and grow faster than they did before if CEOs think creatively and stay strong.