by Jonathan Jones
In times of crisis, leaders must step up and lead. The stakes are higher because not only employees are relying on them, so are their families. With uncertainty all around, clarity is vital. The fundamentals of leadership are essential because every move a leader makes is amplified. You must be clear in your purpose. Refer to your organization’s mission, vision, and values. They should be your guiding principles, and it is your opportunity to demonstrate them now when everyone is watching closely.
Begin with clarity of roles. Leaders must be clear regarding the roles of their managers and expect them to lead in their area of expertise. This allows the leader to think strategically and to focus on the challenges and opportunities in the world of uncertainty. Leadership teams should meet consistently and communicate through standard channels to their employees. Every communication with employees sets the stage for their engagement. Begin with empathy and let them know how important they are to you. Ensure they are safe through work-from-home policies, and safety measures when they need to be in the office. Reinforce how important they are for the mission of the company and their customers. Your customers and their work product should be their focus at work. Managers should listen to their team members to understand any issues employees may have at home, especially with older family members and children out of school. Create regular check-in time for employees.
Once employees are focused, use your time to work strategically. Make sure you are collecting facts from reliable sources and avoid opinion or social media hype. Reach out to peers in other companies for information. This is going to be a challenge, and we will get through this, especially when leaders lead and we work together. Keep calm and wash your hands.
Jonathan Jones (Jonathan.email@example.com or 314-608-0783) is a CEO peer group chair/coach for Vistage International.