We’re all saying it these days: “I’m just in survival mode.” Our personal and workplace routines have been turned upside down. No matter how soon life gets back to normal, this won’t be the last time a crisis strikes and we find ourselves just trying to survive.
All that being said, there is a slight upside to this situation. As an executive or manager, you have the opportunity to lead your team through this time of crisis in a productive way, one that might make you an even better leader in the long run. The trick is to give your team a way to see past obstacles, communicate what they need, and create a roadmap for success. Here’s how to do that:
1. Choose Your Focus and Keep It Short Term
We are working through a worldwide pandemic, the effects of which are staggering. It’s hard for employees not to spend every minute of the day worrying about the health and safety of friends and family, the state of the stock market, potential layoffs, or their children’s at-home educations. Of course, we are all going to spend time contemplating these difficult subjects, but we must try more than ever to be intentional about choosing what we focus on.
So what do you focus on? For starters, put short-term goals front and center. While we might be tempted to emphasize our long-term goals to ensure we’re keeping pace with the company, our time horizons need to shift when a crisis hits. Your short-term goals may be your goals for the week, and your longer term might refer to the next month. To use my company as an example: When the real impact of the pandemic on our business became evident, for three weeks our short term became the current day, and our long term became the current week.
The next step is making sure these goals are clear and achievable so you and your team can stay hyper-focused on them. Acknowledge up front that there will be obstacles and your team’s job is to expect and work around them to stay on goal. As you use short-term goals to get through the daily grind, keep reminding your team there is a point in the future that represents “emerging from the crisis.” We all need a light at the end of the tunnel to work toward. Read more here…