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Bruce McAlpineLeadership

2 Essential Keys to Leading through COVID 19

By April 22, 2020No Comments

Crises reveal character and competence.

As leaders leading our organizations through this pandemic, we will be looking at our teams’ performance, considering their character and competence.  It is important also to remember that they will be looking at us through the same lens.

So as leaders, we need to lead from the front, showing the strength of our character, and our competence to bring our organizations strongly out the other side of this temporary crisis.

2 keys to success are Think Time, and Communication.

Regarding Think Time, this is where we as leaders really earn our corner office.  We need to make sure that we are not so busy reacting that we are not taking the time needed to “future think”.  We need to be thinking about questions like the following:

  • What will the “new normal” look like?
  • How will our customers/clients have changed in their needs and their buying processes?
  • How will this crisis have affected our competition?
  • Where will the opportunities be?
  • How do we want our organizations to be positioned when we enter the “new normal”?

A great technique to make our “Think Time” practical is to practise the military concept of “Scenario Analysis”.  The attached article Making-Decisions-in-a-Crisis-Whitepaper-1 (1)  from my comrade Mike Craig, President, Synergy Work Solutions Inc. and authorized Crestcom partner includes a good explanation of this technique.

Regarding Communication, our communication to our teams must be positive while fact-based, not just “Spin”.  And, particularly if we have gone “virtual” during this pandemic, our communication with our teams needs to be more frequent, but shorter.  Instead of 2 hour team meeting once a week, we need to be talking to our team members every couple of days, seeing how they are doing and encouraging them with positive messages, showing we care for them, and we are leading them to greater success as we come out of this.  This is how we will demonstrate our character and our competence, building confidence, trust, and positive energy in our teams, resulting in positive activity.

We will be here for you when we come out of this.  However, how well we all come out of this will be determined by our character and our competence, by how we have used our “Think Time” to position our organizations for future success, and by how we have communicated our caring and our positive vision to our teams.

Bruce McAlpine is President of Fulcrum Search Science Inc., a Toronto-based executive search firm solving Mission-Critical hiring challenges throughout North America, and Past President of the Association of Canadian Search, Employment & Staffing Services.  Contacts: or 416.779.8505