It is unfathomable what is happening in the world with this virus. No company will be immune to the aftershocks of this pandemic, whether the virus affects your employees’ health and safety, or the economic crisis causes you to lose many of your clients.
In either case, your company is likely facing hardship, and no matter how well you were doing before, tough decisions are coming your way. As the leader of the company, you will be tested, and your true colors will come out. Your team will look up to you for guidance and encouragement, and it is at this time that you need to shine.
So, as a CEO, what do you do?
First, you need to understand the reality of how your company culture is structured and who is first for you. This is essential to any good business model, and I encourage you to look at your actions and consider this now if you haven’t before. Who is “first” in your company?
It should be clear in your mind if either your employees, your clients, or your shareholders are first in your view as a leader. This will allow you to make decisions and know how those decisions will impact each group. For example:
Consider these questions:
Do you know how your company is organized?
Are you acting accordingly?
Are your truthful to the people you are leading about what is important?
Once you establish what is more important to you, your communication must match. If you are employee-first, you should include them in your discussions and be forthright and honest. If you are customer-first, you must do the work to keep your clients aware of what your company is doing for them. If you are shareholder-first, you must communicate how you will be retaining your profitability.
Clarity and consistency are important so that you can continue to lead and survive the crisis while preparing for how you will rebuild.
No matter how your organization is built, if you know who is first, second, and third, and you act consistently to prove it, there’s a good chance the company will weather the storm and will rebuild on the other side.