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How do you lead in the age of COVID-19?

Apr 16, 2020 | Business, Real News

What does crisis management look like when conventional wisdom seems hopelessly inadequate? Australia’s business leaders are facing a once-in-a-generation test of their managerial mettle. Across the world, millions of business owners are in the same boat. No one has been here before. No one knows where or when it will end. The coronavirus fallout is shaping to be possibly as bad as the Great Depression – or worse, according to some economists. So how do you lead in the age of COVID-19? Read on!

A different leadership beast

What leadership strategies can be applied in such grave circumstances? What does crisis management look like when conventional wisdom seems hopelessly inadequate?  We are facing three crises in one: health, financial and economic. This started as a health crisis, and it very quickly turned to both a financial and an economic crisis. The hardest challenge right now for leaders is staying ahead of the game. Strategic adaptability and clear communications are crucial because of the continually changing landscape.

The ability to predict the future is radically reduced, which means we need to be able to adapt to what we know about the environment. We can have hypotheses and scenarios, but our greatest skill is our ability to adapt.

For us, a lot of that is about communication, be it with our clients, staff, partners or stakeholders. Communication is our greatest weapon right now.

Addressing the issues

Communication is front and centre. Uncertainty around both supply chains and consumer demand is clouding the picture for all retailers. Cash flow problems loom for even those with a robust online presence suited to the new norm of self-isolation.

We have to be prepared for everything, and that includes a complete shutdown which is unprecedented but very possible when we look at other countries.

There is a need to be in close and constant contact with our teams. It’s more than unsettling for everyone, so we have to make sure we over-communicate and be very clear.

Authenticity is a core value of leadership strategies and something we need to hold firm of in the crisis.

Leading in a crisis brings out the outstanding leaders. Do you front it and manage it, or do you hide? Under normal trading we would be inspiring and leading, nowadays we’re still inspiring but in a different way. We have to be clear and transparent and action-focused; and pull on a different set of skills.

DGL Accountants have proficient leaders directing the way and addressing these trying and challenging circumstances. If you would like assistance in regards to leadership during the Coronavirus crisis in your workplace, get in touch today!

Leading in the age of COVID-19 tips brought to you by our friends at InTheBlack and the Team at DGL.