Daily guide for leaders during a crisis

Article by Sam Reese

For many leaders, the COVID-19 outbreak is their first crisis. Yet even the most grizzled veterans of corporate America have not managed through a global crisis quite like this one. There is no playbook. This crisis will last for months with many highs and lows along the way.

Vistage is working with our CEO members across the globe. Through this experience, we have noticed them adopting common principles to help stay focused during this crisis:

Focus on today as a priority

Know the most important action you can take right now and stay focused on it before moving on. This situation is evolving quickly and making progress is essential.

Establish a clear goal for your team

Have a clear uplifting goal beyond survival that inspires everyone about what the future could hold. It will remind them of your organization’s mission and give their work meaning.

Communicate frequently, transparently and empathetically

Keep your people, your customers, your partners and your community top of mind. Even if you do not have an answer, you can reduce their anxiety by providing an update.

Maintain a rhythm and pace of hard work

There are no shortage of news updates to distract you and your team. These will be emotionally taxing. Establishing a regular cadence to your day reduces stress and keeps the business moving forward.

Be available

This helps others maintain their dedication and rhythm. Accessibility is the quality your employees look for most during a time of crisis. By staying available, you will also become more aware of your organization’s priorities.

Make decisions

Remain disciplined about your planning, but do not be afraid to act promptly when it comes to decision-making. Do the best you can with the information you have.

Most importantly, remember that you and your team members are human. These are challenging times for each of us. Leveraging your best judgment and the perspectives of your trusted peers will help you remain an effective leader.

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