During a recent video call (and aren’t we are all getting accustomed to hours on end of Zoom, Skype and FaceTime? Thank goodness for video technology to keep us all connected!), I discovered that a former client had just been hired as SVP for Marketing at one of the largest banks in the world. She hadn’t even been looking for a new job. A recruiter had simply reached out to her, and the rest quickly fell into place.
It made me think about the aspects of business that haven’t changed, or taken a back seat, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis:
Hiring continues, at all levels of the organization.
Team effectiveness remains as essential as ever.
Leadership is paramount.
Business development and customer retention are key priorities.
The customer experience must be as outstanding as ever.
If you are just getting started in a new role, you’ve got an amazing opportunity to showcase who you are and what you bring to the business. Listen, if you can shine as a new leader in the midst of a global pandemic, you will rapidly earn the confidence of your boss, board, employees and customers.
Be sure to prioritize the following:
1.Time with your new boss. This can be challenging when the organization is under pressure and everyone is adapting to change. Yet it is vital that you spend enough time with your boss to understand what is expected of you and how success will be measured. You need to learn what’s most important to your manager and the board. And you must have candid, clear conversations about how you will best work with one another.
2. Time with your new team. You may not be able to meet your team in person, for the time being. Still, you can set up individual and team meetings to quickly get to know one another, build trust, establish who you are as a leader, learn what’s on your team member’s minds, find out where they need your assistance, and hear what they consider to be today’s top issues.
3. Time to think. Don’t neglect your solo thinking time. Carve out blocks each day to reflect on your approach, consider your messaging, gain clarity on your most pressing goals, plan for important meetings and conversations, and develop your strategy. I advise my executive clients to protect at least 30 min each day for quiet reflection and planning. I call this taking a strategic pause in the daily busyness of running the business.
Whether you’ve taken on a new role, hired a new employee, or been given a new set of challenges, you’ll need to set aside time to think, prepare, communicate, and align with the people around you. The investment of time and energy will allow you, your organization and your customers to thrive, in good times and bad.
In the coming weeks, I will continue to offer you advice that will help lead in these unprecedented times. Please email me with additional topics you’d like me to address. Call anytime you need me. I’d love to hear from you.
To your continued health, wellness, and steadfast leadership.