Covid-19 Next Steps

Covid-19 Next Steps

In August, I will celebrate 15 years as a Business Coach.  I was side-by-side with my clients during the lows of the Great Recession and the highs of the last several years, but never could have foreseen what we now face.

Just like my clients, I’m confident you stepped up over the past several weeks to ensure the safety of your team while doing your best to conserve cash flow.  It was a fire drill, an adrenaline rush, and a tsunami of information shooting at us from all directions.  Most of us were so busy figuring out new laws, new loan options, and new technology that we didn’t have much time to process what would come next.

Now comes the challenge of reopening under circumstances that are difficult and sensitive, at best.  And, even if everything goes well over the next few months, we still can’t predict the days ahead.  Will there be a second wave?  Will customers come back?  Will a vaccine be available early next year and return us to some semblance of normal?  We just don’t know.  And that’s what concerns me.  Not only has the playing field and all the rules have changed, but they will continue to change for the unforeseeable future.

As I mentioned earlier, in most cases, the initial adrenaline-filled response to the virus was nothing short of miraculous.   But as time goes on, all leaders will have to grapple with the energy drain and emotional toll of managing the unknown.  To be blunt – this will be more like running a marathon than a sprint and require a completely different set of skills beyond firefighting.

So, what does that look like?  Based on our conversations we believe, in addition to focusing on cashflow and operations, successful leaders will also be:

  • Staying focused on what they CAN control. While it’s crucial to stay flexible, it’s also important not to stay stuck in all the ways you’ve lost power.  You absolutely have control over many aspects of your company, team, and life in general.  If you’re feeling stuck, this is probably the reason and my recommendation is to make a list today of all the ways you can influence your activities and outcomes.  Feeling in control will make you feel powerful and ready to make the decisions necessary to move forward.
  • Improving their emotional intelligence and stress management throughout the organization. Good, strategic decision making will be crucial in the next 12 months.  But, added stress and the inability to handle interpersonal relationships empathetically will cause our executive brains to shut down giving way to caveman behavior.  Call me crazy, but I don’t think attacking all aspects of your business with a blunt object will be that helpful today or ever.
  • Developing their ability to “skate ahead of the puck.” Most of us were blindsided by Covid 19, but you can’t be caught flat-footed moving forward. It’s critical that your organization finds ways to anticipate and prepare for what comes next without sacrificing best practices.  There’s never been a better time to become a thought leader in your industry.

These are the conversations I’m having today and will continue to have as we all move through these exceptional times.  If you have a question or would like to talk through any challenges, my door is always open.  And, whether you’re a client or not, it doesn’t matter.  Just pick up the phone or email me and I’ll be glad to help.

I wish you health and a clear mind as you navigate these waters.