It’s incredible how much our lives, our businesses, and the world changed overnight. Less than five weeks ago, we were creating strategic plans, driving growth, investing in innovation, and expanding our teams. We were in a comfortable place. We had a sense of certainty, and in the blink of an eye, it all changed.
We are working in a virtual environment and learning new technology. Cutting and controlling cost is our primary focus. We are working without pay, furloughing, or laying off staff. Maintaining liquidity in uncertain times is elusive. We are applying for grants just to survive the current crisis.
The roles and responsibilities of leaders have changed in the past few weeks. Leaders will be tested in ways never imagined. Sadly, there is no single leadership playbook on how to respond to the maelstrom.
The most critical leadership skill that will guide us through the current crisis is our ability to be decisive. Yes, leaders make decisions. However, the pace of decision-making has substantially increased. There is too much unknown and uncertainty. The information that we possess is incomplete and not necessarily accurate. We are experiencing cognitive overload and are being overwhelmed. It’s too much to process, creating paralysis. Many leaders are shutting down and becoming indecisive.
The world, our teams, and families need something more. They require that leaders stand up and move forward. We must become bold and decisive not only to survive but eventually strive. After all, fortune favors the bold.
Here are four thoughts on making quick and bold decisions:
- Respond. Take a breath! This is a highly emotional time, and when we react to our emotions, we enviably make mistakes. We need time to digest the challenges and then respond with an action plan. We need to respond rather than react!
- Progress. Mistakes will be made. Let’s focus on making progress versus perfection. Let’s break significant problems in more bite-size challenges and make faster decisions solving micro-problems. There is no single silver bullet solution! Success is built upon a series of small actions.
- Action. There is a time for deep analytical thought, research, and discussion, but it’s not now. We must prepare ourselves and our team to embrace action even when all the details are not available. We must continue to move forward.
- Adapt. Our actions will create new consequences, and the world will continue to throw us curveballs. Our ability to recognize, understand, and adapt to the sudden shifts will be the difference between surviving or failing. Think, discuss, decide, and act fast!
We are stuck in a crisis crucible, and the pressure is increasing. The situation is changing rapidly, and finding stability for a couple of days or even a few hours will be limited. We cannot allow the challenges of the moment create inertia. We must make decisions and move to action. This is our time to lead with confidence and conviction.
So, lead on my friends.
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