Thoughts for Leading During a Crisis

March 31, 2020

Patrick Hennessy, Co-Founder & CEO


I have often thought there were best practices for managing and leading during a crisis. As we are going through this unprecedented crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, I was writing these thoughts down for myself and thought they would be useful to share. Some of these I have developed myself and some I have picked them up from others and refined what works best for me. I hope they help you in some way shape or form.

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1.     Step up during a crisis.  A crisis like this is a time for a leader to step up and show people your character – so even though times can be tough be sure to be the best version of you, you can be.

2.     Have a point of view.  Put a stake in the ground, develop your perspective, short term and long term of how you think the crisis will play out in your industry and in your company. Use this as a guiding light as you work your way through the crisis.

3.     Develop a plan. Nothing is more powerful than having a plan of action that gives you and your team a sense of purpose and control.  Having a plan allows you to make things happen rather than being a victim to the crisis.

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4.     See reality and be positive.  This sometimes requires you to “thread the needle” so to speak – See reality for what it is, be honest about the difficult facts and situation yet remain positive and proactive – remember nobody wants to follow a pessimist.   

5.     Keep your team feeling comfortable and
safe.  
You need your team feeling
energized and excited, especially during a health crisis.

6.    Keep your team productive and focused.  Keeping your team adding value and helping
their business continue to succeed is key.

7.    Opportunities exist in a crisis.  Things are not all bad and if you step up and work hard, some big opportunities can present themselves in a crisis, what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger type of thinking.  For example, at Blend360, we segment our business into areas based on opportunities and manage our time based on these segments.

8.     Frequent communications.  Keep your entire team updated and in the know around the crisis and impact on business. Trust them with this information and keep them working the plan. It’s also very important to find a way where the team can communicate information to you about what is happening at their level.

9.     Be ready and willing to change.   As new information becomes available you will need to adapt and change your plan…sometimes often. Let you team know early on that change is part of your plan.

10.     Be considerate.  A crisis can bring out stress and frustration and it’s important to be a good person and partner, both internally and externally.  People will remember that when the crisis is over.

Bonus tip! - Remember the crisis will end and if handled properly, you can emerge from the crisis as a better company.  Every crisis has winners and losers and new market leaders.  Focus on being a leader that emerges better than before.



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