In this week’s Live Town Hall, we were joined by Ed McDonnell, CEO and Founder of McDonnell and Associates, P.A. and Dr. Cindy McGovern, speaker, consultant, best-selling author, and founder of Orange Leaf Consulting to talk about Leading and Coaching in a Crisis.
Our virtual town hall event with them tackled some of the questions leaders have while adjusting to our “new normal” as Ed put it. Having a coach or mentor to guide you through the logistical and emotional responses to a crisis can help, but not everyone has a coach. Fortunately, Cindy shares some insights on how you can do more than just manage or survive through this time of uncertainty to find new opportunities to lead and grow.
A skeptic in the past, Ed’s experience working with Cindy has radically altered his perception of leadership coaching or peer mentoring.
Cindy also practices what she preaches by working with a lot of coaches. “A coach’s job is to help you see your blind spot…I do think there’s some magic to having that,” she explains.
Here are some of the highlights from their discussion on leadership:
- Create a Plan B
- Check in on staff
- Know your numbers
- Shift your mindset
- Take care of yourself
Create Plan B
Everyone’s planning for 2020 is out the window. While people are settling into new ways of working from home, it’s becoming clear to many managers and business owners they won’t be able to do all the things they originally planned. This can be scary, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t still hit your goals. It does, however, mean that you may have to rethink your path to find your way there.
Check in on staff
Uncertainty is the only certainty. We don’t know how long shelter-in-place orders will last. We don’t know what the long term impact on the economy this will have. In the midst of all this, how do leaders work through their own emotions to better help their staff?
Ed brings up the importance of tapping into Emotional Intelligence. Leaders should take time to create opportunities for open discussions and cultivate environments that allow vulnerability. Cindy encourages leaders and team members to have virtual coffee breaks as a way to connect. The conversation doesn’t need to be about work.
Know your numbers
In addition to honing Emotional Intelligence as a leader, improving Business Intelligence is equally important. Without the right data to guide you, your Plan B will fall short. Examine your current and historical data to shift to Plan B as soon as possible. Cindy notes that this process is therapeutic for many business leaders by providing a sense of control in an uncontrollable environment.
Make sure you have the right tools to gather real time data. Ed suggests Ops Insights, which helps businesses make instant decisions.
Shift your mindset
Many people mistake good management for leadership. Leading is about people, not process. A good manager is able to figure out the logistics of setting up their team remotely, but what you do now to connect with and inspire your team will be the mark of a good leader.
Education, outreach, and touch will be the main driving force of you and your team’s success during this time, but the old ways of connecting with each other and clients isn’t an option. Focus on providing support instead of selling right now.
Talk to leaders in other industries for inspiration, and consider ways to innovate within your company during this time.
Take care of yourself
Vulnerability isn’t a weakness. A good leader needs to have their own support system in place, so take the time to check in with your own emotions while you help others through their own. Don’t be afraid to be open and honest in your conversations with team members, friends, and family.
“We’re in it alone together.”
The COVID-19 outbreak isn’t the first collective tragedy to strike our country and the world that triggered an economic crisis, but it is a unique and unprecedented experience. As a leader, navigating your emotions as well as the emotions of your staff and clients will test your fortitude. Fortunately, you don’t have to weather this storm alone. We are all experiencing this together even though we aren’t able to be together.
Watch the replay of Leading and Coaching in a Crisis with Cindy and Ed for more inspiration to help you and your team through these uncertain times.
Like and follow Orange Leaf Consulting on Facebook to see more video tips from Cindy.