Executive leadership today faces challenges it has never faced before. Thus, in this Expert Insight Interview, Shona Elliott discusses how senior leaders can create a value for the organization. Shona Elliott has more than 15 years of experience in senior leadership, and she also wrote a book on the same topic.
The interview discusses:
- New moments for leadership
- Empathy towards employees
- How to stay resilient
Even though they are probably tired from managing crises since around March, senior leaders will still have to keep up with stepping up with their leadership for quite some time. This is a new reality for everyone, and it is normal that nobody has the right answers yet. This is the time for senior leaders to engage with their employees in sharing experiences, thoughts, fears, etc. Leaders are used to having strategic plans for the next three to five years, but in this case, they can only plan for the next three to six months. Thus, telling your employees things you know and things you do not know yet will create a sense of honesty and authenticity within the organization. In addition, leaders who are not CEOs of their own organizations have something else to think about and that is the board of directors and their views about past and future revenues.
Empathy Towards Employees
We live in different circumstances caused by a pandemic; thus, leaders must be way more flexible and empathetic towards their employees. Many employees might have worries about whether the schools will reopen, or the classes will be held online for their kids. That might affect their ability to go to work to their office, and they might have to stay to work from home. Leaders in human resource departments need to engage in discussions with their employees more, and the newly created policies must be less black and white and more flexible. Having genuine conversations with employees about their current living circumstances will bring more loyalty, hard work, and efficiency from those employees.
Nothing lasts forever. This crisis will pass and only short-term planning in the increments of three to six months will help to go through it easier. And then, when it passes, there will be lessons to learn from it. We will be able to see what we did right and what not. For senior leaders, it is important to stay resilient and to find some routine that will help them to cope with this situation. The fatigue that many leaders feel right now comes either from fear or just generally from this situation. If they feel fearful, they should work to unpack that feeling. For the general feeling of fatigue, it helps to remember the things we are grateful for. Starting the business day at the office with gratitude and positivity will help the leaders to shift the negative energy and get back to the right mindset.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.