Yes, there is a tsunami coming. A huge wave with the potential to cause massive devastation, to pick people up and spin them around as though in a washing machine. The environment afterwards could be very messy and take months to clear up. 

As a leader, are you ready?  Are your people ready?

During the COVID-19 pandemic almost all organisations have had to operate virtually with employees working from home.  During this time the level of care and compassion for team members has been unprecedentedly high and it’s been wonderful to feel the genuine concern when people ask, “how are you?” with a more sincere intonation than ever before.  Many corporations have gone out of their way to look after their people AND their families with a quiet acknowledgment that normal business is pretty much on hold.

Times are changing

For four months things have been largely static.  Yes, there has been some trading activity, but with the economy shrinking by 25% between February and April, it’s evident that many organisations have seen their sales lines rapidly decline, with no sign of uplift soon. 

As profits plummet, shareholders and analysts are getting very nervous and the pressure on the C-suite is growing in intensity. As it builds relentlessly over the coming weeks, we will see cracks starting to appear. And some will burst, releasing that overwhelming wave.

Gone will be the warm and comforting focus on employee wellbeing and in its place will come directives to “sort out the business, and NOW!”  The pressure will be immense, rapid action and change will be expected. Demands for reorganisations, restructuring, cost cutting and accelerated activity will abound, along with a need for early evidence that things are back-on-track. 

Five-point preparation

As a leader, you won’t be able to stop this tsunami but forewarned is forearmed, so now is the time to get your team braced for impact with you.  The wave is coming, so be ready. 

Talk with your team about how, together, you are going to stay united, motivated and able to challenge yourselves to new levels of performance.  What must you do to get ahead of the wave?  What are the radical and incremental plans you can put in place?

I strongly recommend carving out some quality time, away from the day-to-day business, as soon as you can, to think deeply about this.  You can be prepared by starting your planning now.  Keep your team onside and ignite new levels of growth with them and through them, explain what needs to happen and why it needs immediate attention. 

In summary, this should be your five-step process:

  1. Take time out to get on the front foot: start preparing now
  2. Think broadly and deeply: have a shoshin mindset
  3. Keep your team close: explain why things need to change rapidly
  4. Draw up plans together: be radical in your thinking
  5. Communicate clearly and act with urgency

There is a post-pandemic tsunami approaching and it will hit when you are not expecting it. 

If you pre-empt it with these five steps, your plans and your thinking will be clearer, enabling you to lead calmly and confidently through the deluge.

There’s never been a more important time to ‘Lead or be Led’.

Need help or support?  Then please do get in touch, we’re here to help.

After all, iTS Leadership.

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