Facing today’s challenges: Are you in the driver’s seat or the passenger seat?
Here we are, mid-March 2020, facing a new reality. The streets are emptying, people are hunkering down, and most businesses are facing significant uncertainty about what’s going to happen next.
So… how are you dealing with your business situation? Do you feel in control? Or do you feel that the situation is controlling you?
Yes, there are many factors you can’t control that will affect you. And yes, you need to evaluate, assess and understand things. But it’s up to you to decide whether or not you let these factors control you. The results you create over the coming months depend – largely – on how well you address the things you can control.
Sit in the driver’s seat, where you can navigate and steer, instead of in the passenger seat, where the route and destination are out of your hands.
Here are three things you can control during this uncertain time:
Think of your business with focus, not frenzy
Your job as a leader is to address the immediate issues that confront you, but to never lose sight of the big picture. Your job is to be measured and consider many different factors simultaneously as influences affect your business. Have a firm grip on the steering wheel, and encounter all challenges thoughtfully, deliberately and strategically.
Action Step: Carve out time to work on your business. Ask questions such as:
- What are our biggest opportunities and vulnerabilities during this period of upheaval?
- What priorities should we focus on that have the greatest opportunity to benefit our customers, our employees and our bottom line?
- What metrics should we aim to produce over the next six months that would demonstrate that we managed this crisis period effectively?
Be the best thing your customers experience today
All customers will be buying less in the near future. But that doesn’t mean that your customers need to buy less from you. Create clear, compelling and unified brand experiences for your customers. Ensure that every interaction customers have with your company is part of a meaningful story that helps them believe they are better off because they work with you.
Action step: Collaborate with your colleagues to enhance your customer experience.
- Come up with 20 different answers to this question: what can we do to improve the experiences we create for our customers, so they feel more committed to us?
- Then, prioritize these ideas and focus on implementing them, one at a time.
Inspire a committed team
Remember this undeniable fact of business: Your brand’s strength in the marketplace can never be stronger than your brand’s strength inside your company. As you are communicating clearly with your team about how your organization is dealing with this situation, are you also working to inspire them, and bring them closer to your company and its mission? Talk to your team about their role in delivering powerful experiences for your customers and thank them for their contributions to the company’s success.
Action step: Create a forum for your employees to share their thoughts.
- Gather ideas about how your company can best serve its customers, suppliers and team throughout the duration of this situation.
- Then distill these ideas down into 5 – 15 themes that you can share with your team.