By Dr. Wilbert R. Mutoko (PhD, FHEA) | October 15th 2020
leadership | management | crisis management | leading in crisis
The true test of leadership is when you lead through a crisis. The Covid19 crisis is one of the worst seasons that the world has ever come across. I do not think there has ever been a time in history where the whole world shook because of a virus that did not select whether people and nations were wealthy or not. The Covid19 has shown no regard for skin colour, race, status, intelligence or whatsoever. That having been said, this is one of the toughest times to be a leader, whether in the home, at a school, in the corporate, in the community, and at a national, international, or global level. The world is faced with the severe impact of this pandemic. Thus, the question is, how can you and I lead in tough times like these. Below I suggest ways in which leaders can manoeuvre through these rough and tumultuous waters.
Stop wishing that things go back to normal
Any leader who wishes things would go back to normal should understand that we are in the new normal. It is not time to wish, but to plan to secure the future of generations to come.
Consult with your team
The 21st century is well known for consulting with his/her team before taking most steps. Thus, in a crisis, consultation is a must if you want to succeed together with the team. Gone are the days where the leader would keep surprising everyone with unknown moves.
Empower yourself through reading, studying, mentorship and using consultants
Personal development is a must for leaders. When you stop growing, your leadership capabilities stagnate. The same happens to your organization. Therefore, it is apparent that as a leader, you should spend time reading relevant books, articles, and maximizing on mentorship. All your followers are looking up to you, so you better keep developing yourself daily.
Instead of waiting for Covid19 crisis or any crisis, for that matter, to go; you would rather re-strategize. Have a plan for the next two or three years. Remember that failure to plan is planning to fail.
Refresh policies or put new policies in place
Relook at your policies. Are all the policies still relevant, or some of them need to be refreshed to be relevant to this climate. For example, these days many employees are working from home. Does your organization have policies that stipulate what should happen as employees work from home?
Learn new presentation skills – online
Presentation skills are essential to every leader. With the advent of the fourth industrial revolution and Covid19, it becomes mandatory for every leader to develop online presentation skills to avoid being overtaken by events. For example, as a leader, are you able to organize and handle a meeting on Zoom, Google Meet, MS Teams, or other such platforms? Do not be left behind.
Communicate more often with your team
There has never been a better time for you to keep constantly communicating with your followers. These are extremely harsh circumstances for everyone. So, your team wishes to know your thoughts per time.
Show that you care more than ever before
This is the most important time for you to show your team that you care. Otherwise, you remain with physical bodies of your followers while their souls are roaming around the streets looking for better homes. Have conversations – ask your team about their fears etc. Organize counselling services where necessary. Help to pay rent for somewhere necessary.
Support your people through the hard times
Some of your followers need more than just normal communication. They may need psychological interventions. Keep an ear on the ground and make sure that you keep re-training your followers to match the demands of this new world. A confused team is an incompetent team.
I wish you the best of every success as a leader. Together we will sail through this crisis.