Given the challenging times we are experiencing, those leaders who are realizing success with their businesses, organizations, associations, and memberships, are those who are doing three things intentionally 1) Articulating and maintaining a clear purpose, 2) Focusing on and strengthening their teams, and 3) Refining their teams’ paths forward. They’re not doing anything unique or new but they are being intentional. They’re focusing on the essentials to ensure their teams, their customers, and their organizations survive.
Leaders now need to articulate and maintain a clear purpose -
With so many businesses struggling for survival, leaders who are able to clarify, articulate, and maintain a clear focus on what core service(s) or product(s) they can best provide now and in the near term, are able to keep their businesses alive. By either refining their ‘traditional’ offerings or refining or revising their products or delivery models to meet current and evolving customer needs, they’re surviving - if not thriving. We've seen this with the many restaurant, food service, and other hospitality-industry businesses that have been able to survive by moving to creative delivery models, changing products, or redefining space utilization. Also, for those businesses who have experienced no or positive impacts because of COVID, articulating a clear purpose has helped keep overworked teams focused and performing their best. Our healthcare, grocery store, transportation/delivery, and other essential services industries have proven this time and again this past year. Leaders need to remind every team member, why they're doing what they're doing and the difference each team member makes every day. Every person matters and the work they do is important and needed now.
Leaders now need to focus on and strengthen the team -
I saw this first hand last year when the quarantines started. My clients who were actively reaching out to their employees - individually - every few days, then acknowledged and acted upon the stresses work-from-home created for many team members, experienced far fewer intra and inter-team clashes as the new virtual or hybrid work format took hold. Other leaders who didn't actively engage with their teams couldn't keep a pulse-check on stress levels, performance challenges, or home/work scheduling clashes. As a result, they experienced elevated team clashes and performance glitches as the months ground on. Those leaders who chose to spend the time, and the dollars quickly, to ensure they could stay connected via video with their team members, saw greater team commitment and loyalty - and less stress. Those who didn't invest the time or money, didn't. It's not surprising. What would you think of your employer if they wouldn't spend $50 to buy an external camera for your laptop so you could be seen on screen during team meetings for weeks if not months on end?
Leaders now need to refine their organizations’ paths forward -
In typical strategic planning, no one can ever predict exactly what the future will hold. However, we typically don't have to plan for a pandemic limiting the way our workforce works, how our customers buy our products and services, the prominence of racial injustice, in addition to domestic and global economic and political upheaval. We typically limited our focus to shifting customer desires, our competitors' actions, regulatory changes, ... Ah, the good old days. Things have changed to say the least. Because of that, most strategic plans were tossed out the window in 2020 with revised plans focusing on the next 12 to 18 months. Priorities have shifted and rightfully so. Strong leaders now need to clarify and communicate the new priorities and outline how every team member helps to keep their organization’s purpose in play.
Given the challenges facing you, your team, and your customers, how will you lead now?
Copyright MMXXI - Liz Weber, CMC, CSP - Weber Business Services, LLC – www.WBSLLC.com +1.717.597.8890
Liz supports clients with strategic and succession planning, as well as leadership training and executive coaching. Learn more about Liz on LinkedIn!