Leading teams through rough times is a challenge many of us face in business, sport or personal adventures.
Sometimes a crisis hits us unprepared. Actually for many in Australia, we have to recover from 2 crises: the bush fires and now the Covid-19 health and economy crisis.
Other times we choose our own challenge, physical and mental, or both. I’ve have tackled many challenges, every experience bringing new valuable lessons. And we can all learn from how leaders around us respond to crises, turning them into a source of strength.
Kokoda – It’s A Bloody Hard Gig!
2 years ago, I walked the Kokoda Trail in Papua New Guinea with my son and a group of walkers and local back up Papuans. It was an amazing experience!
During my years as an Outward Bound instructor and Area Manager I endured very difficult times – not just physically but emotionally too. Kokoda for me took ‘rough times’ to a new level of challenge.
But boy, did I learn a lot about crisis through these experiences, not just via Outward Bound but also trekking the wilderness of Papua New Guinea.
Many people are now in crisis… and didn’t ask for it. Sadly for too many, they are not prepared; leading teams in our rough times with a clear end in sight is tough indeed!
As a leader of your business, these are the times where you need to step up.
From Death Risk To Strength Opportunity
Recently I was working with the MD of a large membership organisation of over 500 members; COVID-19 could have been the demise of his organisation as social distanciation blocked the organisation’s access to any income from events.
As quoted recently by Scott Morrison, his attitude was “Not on my watch”.
He understood the organisation’s members needed help more than ever at emotional and practical levels. His organisation could revitalise its value to all current and potential members. With this in mind, he decided to look at all the frustrations, concerns and issues on the minds of his members. Then he and his team actively addressed each of those issues. Now he is outputting weekly webinars that bring clear, action-oriented solutions to the exact issues keeping his members awake at night.
Members (and potential members) are loving it. This new attitude has opened new opportunities to engage with the customer base and to grow active membership numbers.
COVID-19 has become a blessing in disguise in strongly building his membership, energising his team and clarifying in his own mind a powerful vision of the future. Now there are drawing many more to his organisation
And What About You And Your Business?
Do clients and stakeholders look at you and your business and get a sense that you are a ‘fighter’ or ‘flighter’? Bridge builder or bridge burner?
In my own business, we are fighting alongside our clients: We have taken a proactive approach to a situation that has put our classic intensive workshops on hold. Because we know how much everyone is tested, as organisations and as people, we had to adapt quickly! So we have gone virtual to help clients deal with the lockdown environment.
Our new solutions allow us to equip leaders and teams in businesses like yours to come out even stronger than before! Our powerful tools and interactive steps continue to deliver game-changing programs. Clients like the impact that this virtual process is having to better engage, inspire and lift team spirit and outcomes.
Now that governments work towards turning the economy back on, your responsibility is to lead your people to renewed success. Even if we can feel a sense of hope, leading teams through rough times isn’t over yet. What an opportunity to sharpen your organisation culture, leadership and teamwork!
PS: Maybe I painted a bad picture of Kokoda? Yes it was tough, but what a powerful and memorable experience. Put it on your bucket list, if you are up for it!!