Wherever you go, whoever you talk to, there only seems to be one conversation and only one thing on everyone’s minds, the pandemic which has gripped the globe and brought the world to a screeching halt, leaving in its wake, a wave of petrifying panic and revealing the capabilities of different countries & territories in the world owing to their preparedness or the lack thereof. The pandemic has been met with a wide range of responses, with certain entities getting on top of it and minimising the onslaught while some have been caught totally off-guard.
This begs the question, is it really a matter of being unprepared? Don’t things like the quality of the healthcare system, chain of command, the public compliance with the directions from the Government matter? They absolutely do. However, all of these ties into a single competence that differentiates the zones doing relatively better than the ones who aren’t- leadership.
Leadership is the utmost need of the hour, the underlying cushion to the warning bells going off in everyone’s heads. The thread of trust which unites millions, if not billions of people. The voice that reassures everyone, not on the basis of a beautiful lie but the inevitable truth. The feeling which ignites the belief that while the future is uncertain, the present can be navigated, together.
You may ask, how would one do that? Especially in a situation like this, unprecedented and vulnerable? Here are a few pointers from exceptional leaders in the face of unforeseen circumstances:
- Be inclusive
Leave no one behind. Engage your people, on all levels, heart, mind & soul. Give them a voice to express how they feel. Do this, each step of the way, through the crisis.
2. Provide flexibility
Your people don’t necessarily need to feel the exact same way as you do and this may mean that some people would need more help than the others in dealing with this situation. Let them deal with this at their own pace whilst being there for them. This leads to flexibility in their work and lives.
3. Adapt and react fast
Take decisions quickly. While keeping your people in mind, get your priorities straight. Be transparent in your decision-making process so that it invokes confidence in a time like this regardless of what you end up with.
4. Stay grounded
Acknowledge what is happening, what you know and what you don’t. Don’t sugarcoat things and make everyone feel that they are in this together. Listen more than you speak. Focus on ensuring that your people feel safe on top of everything.
Leadership is important, now, more than ever, with the world in different stages of battling this situation. We will get through this but only if we are able to move forward as one, with honesty and creating hope from a place of trust and confidence.