Amidst my fraternity, whenever I ask my colleagues that what makes a good leader, they all unanimously agree to the answer, VISION. The answer had always remained the same even when I asked students, executives and my own managers. It is indeed a vision that makes a man strive to move forward, inspire other people and thus become a leader to many. A leader’s vision is unanimously followed by others.
Leadership In Crisis
History has always been benevolent in showing and guiding us the path to sustain any crisis. We all have evolved socio-culturally by learning to adapt to the changes that took place in the past. As per the BCG Reports,
“The Black Death or plague in the 14th century shaped European history, World War II had a direct impact of accelerating women’s participation in the workforce and the 9/11 terrorist attacks reshaped transportation and security policies worldwide.”
So, at this time, as the Coronavirus pandemic is re-constructing, once again, our socio-economic structure, the concepts of leadership and business are also going to transform forever.
There Will Be A Drastic Behavioral Shift
At times of crisis, it is normal for a human to make decisions differently, as it is affected by the available statistical information along with knowledge of real-time experience. The most significant part of decision-making depends on the past examples, but what will happen if humans don’t have any precedence for the following?
Coronavirus outbreak is the 1st of its kind, so it won’t be wrong to say that the leaders are right now trying on everything possible. They are trying, they are failing and again, they are trying. The business leaders are, therefore, coming up with varied solutions that they assume to be successfully working for them.
Industry Expert Bytes: Here Are Some Leadership Insights By Renowned Entrepreneurs & Thinkers
Resilience is the key
“I am convinced that the economic crisis engulfing the world is not purely virus related. It reflects a lack of resilience in the global economy. The virus has merely exposed the underlying structural problems that have been around. To survive a change, I would emphasise on self-reliance, resilience, and real capability building,” says Sridhar Vembu, founder and CEO of Zoho.”
Reset & Start Fresh
“While it is hard to anticipate the long-term economic impacts of Covid-19, we know that the effects will not be felt equally across industries. Some industries have been hit hard and some have been posed with various opportunities. For example, while airlines and hospitality have been hit hardest, telemedicine is now made more accessible to people. I expect the biggest change to be the normalization of remote work for knowledge workers,” believes Sid Sijbrandij, co-founder and CEO of GitLab.”
Upskill & Upgrade
“Be very good at what you do, that creates an edge in the market and enhances the odds of survival. When the job market becomes challenging, it is useful to think of it as: “The market values my time at zero, but I know I can do better than zero?” said Zoho’s Vembu. [Source]
The Companies Now Need To Be Fitter, Than Ever Before
For us, humans, once reaching the ideal weight goal, we tend to stop with our workout. For many companies as well, once they achieve the perfect consistency rate in growth, stop thinking further for new ideas. This is not the time for it right now, as the current economic situation demands the presence of those companies only which steer through the crisis and come up with new strategies of growth hacking.
It has always been a code of the companies to be prepared for any kind of threat and prepare for it. Still, in the case of an unknown crisis like the Covid-19, the decision-makers should continuously monitor the ups and downs of the market and figure out aggressive measures to keep the company afloat. When a hundred companies sustain in this challenge, the economy will gradually become strong like before.
Here’s a 4-fold mental model for the entrepreneurs for navigating through in this situation…
- For ensuring the continuation of the business’ health, leaders have to create frameworks that will dynamically identify and make the owners aware of all threats.
- Let this pandemic give all of us, the business owners a lesson on the importance of consistent conservation. It may sound unusual, but always collecting & keeping reserves of cash, talent, leads and other such metrics may help the business thrive later.
- Keep associates and employees in the loop for any relevant or role-specific conversation; otherwise, in such critical situations, miscommunication can lead into internal chaos.
- Also, make sure that the investors are provided with a transparent view of your thoughts and actions so that they keep seeing a credible image for your business in the future.
Here Are 6 Principles To Be Followed By Every Entrepreneur
1. Never stop looking for as well as creating opportunities
An unprecedented crisis like Coronavirus has somehow fogged the far-sightedness of visionaries. Well, it’s okay to absorb the initial shock in this case, but to thrive in the long run, entrepreneurs must never stop thinking. Steer through the tough time and keep all senses open. Set out foraging for new ideas and opportunities and only then will the business be able to get back on its feet once again. See the glass half-full and not half-empty.
What You Can Do…
- Address blind spots.
- Broaden perspective.
- Overcome scepticisms.
- Overcome obstacles.
- Share vision with team & employees.
2. Prepare today for the unexpected tomorrow
Practice ‘circular vision’ to see around & through multiple dimensions of the business and learn what the departments need. Go through the talent acquiring and management analytics and start observing the areas that can be fast-tracked. Can you rely on the existing framework of every department for the future, or do all of them need revamping with new codes or policies? Every decision depends on the hawk-eye analysis of the entrepreneur.
What You Can Do…
- Practice drills of operating in an uncertain environment.
- Prepare a rebound plan for combating any crisis.
3. Trust your guts more than market trends
The times of crisis, it is common for the entrepreneurs to trust their guts less and follow what is going on as a trend. This is a mistake if the sole reliance is upon the market trend. Strike the right balance between analysing what the business needs and also what the market trend is showing. Every business comes with particular challenges and the solutions too are exclusive and only an entrepreneur can know the nerve of his business accurately. But that does not signify that the broader picture of industry patterns is to be overseen. Neither be too greedy, nor be too much fearful- that’s the balance to be achieved.
What You Can Do…
- Keep a close eye on the market changes.
- Try to link the changes with the business.
- Never fear, stay confident and decide wisely.
4. Generate an entrepreneurial attitude more than before
The entrepreneurial spirit has always been all about connecting the dots across multiple segments. This attitude has always been the driving force to impact the business with colossal decisions that made a difference. So in a crisis, if the entrepreneur has too many resources up his/her kitty than he/she actually needs, instead of scraping them off, he/she should make good new ways of using them. As mentioned before, the entrepreneurial instincts will definitely kick once strategic focus is placed on the segmentation of resources.
What You Can Do…
- Break down silos.
- Improve strained professional relations.
- Figure new ways to evolve.
- Don’t let go of the quality of human resources.
- Think about foraging into new market.
5. Work with a generous purpose
The concept is more than looking for yourself- it’s about looking for others’ well-being as well. Get the sub-ordinates and associates into the group and tag them along in the discussion of what’s next? This imbibes a trust in them that the entrepreneur is never letting them go, never giving upon them. The purpose here is to get the best delivered from even the weakest link. Forge professional bonds that will last longer in the welfare of the company’s future. It’s their home as well.
What You Can Do…
- Fix inefficiencies together.
- Inspire to improve the existing team-effort.
- Help employees deal with short-sightedness.
6. Work to create a guide for future
Legacies are born during a crisis [Source]
Coronavirus is an unprecedented crisis and in this tough time the entrepreneurs have to travel the extra mile to create a long-standing example for the predecessors. Look into the legacies of respected leaders across verticals- you will be able to see they were most respected for precise decision-making at the times of crisis. How you keep your focus straight in the times of chaos will mark the beginning of your journey to stability. Hold yourself accountable, and keep building traditions that will be followed to strengthen the organization’s stature in the future. It is said that crisis puts our culture to test and so it is the ripe time to ensure that as an entrepreneur to build up to something that the people behind can follow.
What You Can Do…
- Think hard, plan according.
- Build a common visionary purpose.
- Prepare beforehand for a chaotic time ahead.
- Prepare sub-ordinates with responsibilities beyond specified roles.
Call these strategies or guidelines, but the points that I have enlisted here are simply how the instincts of a leader work. It is all about tugging everyone in the fraternity and towing the economy to the place where it stands strong again with us as its pillars. Crisis periods bring out a lot of things about leadership and the leader within us. Considering how roles are going to change in the post-crisis world, think about those who have struggled and yet were beside you. Acknowledging and appreciating these people is a great sign of true leadership. A1 Future Technologies could be that one friend of yours, who guides you towards success even in these dire times. As well as help you tread through your leadership journey successfully!