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Haines Watts Esher Phone icon 020 8549 5137

As a leader you cannot control the situation but you can control your response to it. There is no easy route through a crisis but a leader’s response to it is critical in maintaining trust and providing reassurance to your workforce and beyond. Dan Morgan shares his key tips on good leadership in a crisis.

 

Effective communication

Communication to anyone involved in your business needs to be regular, clear and considered. This will be much more effective at showing you are on top of a situation than an overconfident approach that falls down as the crisis develops. If there is a sense that you are withholding information, your credibility may be brought into question which is likely to cause further panic.

Fostering an open and safe environment will allow your teams to voice their concerns to you without fears of repercussions. This means you can stay on top of what is actually going on in the business, allowing you to make more informed decisions.

 

Decision making under pressure

Most leaders I know only like to act once they feel they know all of the facts. When you are experiencing a major disruption to your business this may not always be possible. It is vital that you make quick decisions.

This doesn’t mean you need to rush into anything but in an evolving situation you can only act on the information available at the time. You’ll need to trust your gut, remembering that it’s your instincts that got you to where you are now.

Try to see the positives in the decisions you make during a crisis. Some can continue to be beneficial in the long-term. For example, the implementation of new technology to get you through certain situations can improve efficiency when your business is returning to normal.

 

What to focus on and what can be let go of

During a crisis you need to focus on what keeps your business running and invest your time in making those things as secure as possible. For example, this may be:

  • Your team
  • Cash flow
  • Customers
  • Supply chain

Empowering the right members of your team to make day to day decisions will give you breathing room to reflect on the challenges and plan a way forward. Bigger projects aimed at growing your business may not be business critical or appropriate in the circumstances you find yourself in. They will therefore need to be postponed to allow you time to reconcile your resources and plan for the new normal.

 

Being an empathetic leader

As a leader you must acknowledge and respect the challenges your team are facing in both their professional and private lives as a result of a crisis. Remember that we are all human and your teams are likely facing the same worries and concerns as you.

Running regular ‘check-ins’ can provide an opportunity for your team to voice their challenges as well as their successes. Listening to your workforce and understanding their concerns will allow you to understand what adaptations need to be made to help your team balance their priorities in truly exceptional times. This will only result in a more committed workforce benefitting everyone in the long run.

Stress and fatigue will limit your ability to make effective decisions so continue to allow yourself time to switch off and focus on your own wellbeing as well as your team. This will be vital to ensure you are at the top of your game for the duration.

 

We are here to talk and offer support and counsel in whatever way we can. Get in touch with our team here or contact me direct via the options below.

Want to know more? Call us on 020 8549 5137 or email esher@hwca.com

About the author

Daniel Morgan

Dan joined Haines Watts in 2011. While he works across many sectors, he has a particular expertise and interest in the property, hotel, technology and media sectors and in advising professional service firms. Dan works primarily with owner managed businesses. While he delivers a range of accounting services, he thrives on providing strategic consulting focused on helping owners realise value in and from their businesses. Dan sees one of his core roles as being a sounding board for the business owner; a trusted confidant who can challenge and question but also support the owner.

 

The most enjoyable part of what I do is working with business owners on their long term plan and future goals. It's so rewarding to be part of creating that strategy and helping them achieve the desired outcome.

If I wasn't doing this I'd be: a pro golfer.

Favourite Sports Team: Manchester United.

Dream Location: Tuscany, drinking red wine.

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