Leadership In the Time of Coronavirus: Series

Leadership In the Time of the Coronavirus: Your Initial Response to Crisis

By, Elizabeth Winston, PhD, March 25, 2020

Our lives are changing faster than we can keep up. It is a time of high anxiety about health, money and life as we have known it. Leaders are in a vital position as influencers and decision-makers. Here are some tips for how to be a good leader during the pandemic:

1)    Be decisive

Everyone is looking for guidance during this time of so much fear and so little information. Make decisions using logic, credible timely information, and empathy. 

 2)    Communicate well

Once you have made decisions, communicate them swiftly and clearly to your employees/team/colleagues. And ask for and listen to their feedback. 

 3)    Be transparent

When anxiety is high, everyone’s BS detector is super fine-tuned. Be honest and straightforward. This does not mean you need to share all of your worries.

 4)    When feeling vulnerable, choose well.

Leaders are emotional guides. Many of us are having times of relative calm and times of panic. When you panic, try get support from your closest family and friends. At work, choose wisely with whom you share your more intense feelings, taking care to not panic others who look to you for direction. There is a place and need for modeling and normalizing stress and emotions, however. In fact, emotional intelligence and awareness is needed most in times of crisis and uncertainty. 

5)    Be creative

Be wide open to new ideas, new perspectives and new business practices.  This means being fully present in the moment. Leverage your most creative people to develop new ways of doing business and connecting with your community.

 

Leadership In the Time of the Coronavirus: Settling in to the “new normal”

By, Elizabeth Winston, PhD, April 5, 2020

1)   Honor your vulnerability and that of others. Leadership used to mean acting tough and confident no matter what. Now, everyone knows how vulnerable our world is. Acknowledge your feelings of vulnerability and respect others’.

2)   Acknowledge loss – we have all lost a lot already (normal routines, social and physical contact, freedom) and are bracing ourselves for more loss. Acknowledge this to yourself and your people.

3)   Be brave – grow your comfort level with making decisions based on much less information. We used to be so careful. Now we have to make decisions without really knowing what comes next. 

4)   Be agile – Change your decision immediately if you have to. Come up with a new solution or ask your team to do this. We have to respond to sudden change with a willingness to adapt immediately.

5)   Restore – Sleep, eat well, go outside, connect with your people, watch something funny, meditate, have gratitude, help others.