The last couple of years during the Covid-19 pandemic have tested businesses and business leaders more than the last 10 years did.
Those that adapted and survived will likely thrive as a result and while it was a challenging period I think there is a lot that can be learned from it.
Here are 6 business takeaways I believe every leader should be aware of post-pandemic.
1) Preparation is key. Not exactly pandemic-specific as it applies to every economic downturn. But the pandemic showed us that sharp, sudden downturns can occur without warning outside of the usual economic cycle. Businesses with strong cash reserves and a plan can capitalise on the opportunities that downturns present.
2) Operate with purpose. How you move through your days and weeks will impact the whole team. So ensure you have a purpose. A purpose will create a focus and a rhythm to your work will be catchy to those who work around you. “Keep swimming in the same direction”.
3) Steer the ship. As the CEO of a company, you have a responsibility to lead from the front. Guide your team through uncertain times, take responsibility and be the positive vibe that you want your team to be.
4) Call the team to arms. If you are in a fight to survive then rally your team to fight with you. Have them reach out to the networks, connect, engage and explore new opportunities. If people need to repurpose or do a different role for a while to cope with shifting demands then ask them and inspire them to do that.
5) Stop selling and start serving. In down times people are much more interested in connecting than being sold to. If your selling strategy is normally the hard sell try a softer approach. How can you help your customers or serve them? This is just as true when engaging internally as well. How can you better serve your employees, how can they better serve each other?
6) Accept you aren’t invincible. As a CEO, especially if you are a founder you are going to take your work and your business seriously. To see that business in trouble or going through a difficult period can be distressing. Acknowledge this is going to happen, have an emotional moment if you need to, composure yourself and keep leading the ship.
TAKEAWAY: The pandemic tested the mettle of a lot of business leaders. But for those who survived their role and even those who didn’t the pandemic was a huge learning experience. So, embrace these takeaways, the experience of the pandemic and be a better leader.