How To Lead Through Difficult Times

  • Published on:
    June 29, 2020
  • Reading time by:
    3 minutes

Many of us as leaders are slowly finding a new normal during this pandemic. It has been disruptive to most businesses and has negatively impacted our employees, customers, and partners. As each state slowly re-opens, we are starting to see a surge in case numbers.  Now health departments are begging their governors to close back down.  In this time of uncertainty, we are facing new challenges as it relates to re-imagining our future. 

We are now challenged with figuring out new work from office solutions or remaining in a virtual office indefinitely. Some are faced with being an essential presence for existing customers and partners while creating solutions that meet the needs of the business today.  There are others who are fighting to keep the business going and if they do not find new business soon it will be difficult to remain open.

As leaders we forget sometimes, that carrying this burden is often incredibly stressful. Do not forget to practice self-care and find healthy ways to manage stress so you can be at your best. Getting through this difficult time will require you to dig deep to pull through and get to the other side. Here are a few recommendations to add to your toolbox.

  1. Manage your Emotions – As a leader, it is our responsibility to keep calm during a storm. The truth is we can all put our game face on and look like the duck gliding through the water, but we know underneath the water we are paddling trying to keep up. Do everything you can to be informed but do not allow the negativity from the news to impact your energy.
  2. Over Communicate & Inspire Confidence – In the absence of information people will make up stories. Over-communicate what is going on and how you are thinking about the business. Everyone wants a leader they can trust and inspires confidence.
  3. Obsess over your Customers – Your customers are your lifeline. Make sure you check in on them and understand what their unique challenges are to determine how you can be an answer to their problem. Please note, make sure you have prepared offers to help them during these difficult times that will be at no cost.  
  4. Re-Imagine the Future – As you are preparing for the new normal post-COVID-19 it is critical to think about how you are going to capitalize on the unprecedented opportunity, or shift your business strategically so you don’t become a laggard. This is where you should dedicate time to ideation and the art of what is possible. You do not want to be left behind.
  5. Stay Connected to Your People – Keep a lifeline with your people. Do more frequent phone calls, texts, emails, IM’s, chats, etc. Just connect and find out how they are doing. Recognize that everyone is having their own experience during this difficult time. Your job is to meet them where they are listening, supporting, and encouraging along the way. 

Remember difficult times often lead to beautiful destinations. Stay strong and know we will get through this together!

Learn more about Lani Phillips:

Lani Phillips

Lani Phillips brings over 20 years’ experience in the technology industry as a technology executive. Lani currently serves as Vice President of Channel Sales at Microsoft Corporation. Her team supports our customers’ digital transformation efforts by accelerating co-selling partnerships with Microsoft partners representing a $30B business. She was recognized on the CRN 2020 Women in Channel list “Leading Fearlessly in a Time of Crisis” featuring the top women in the channel. 

Complementing her work in the technology industry, Lani founded the Women Executive Channel Advisory Board (WECAB) comprised of all female executives. They are focused on creating more opportunities for women in the workplace. She also serves on the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) D&I Advisory Board. Lani has a passion for inspiring, transforming, and growing leaders. She is currently writing her first leadership book and looks forward to adding “author” to her bio in 2021. 

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