Leading During a Pandemic

You can’t control the timeline, but you can control the outcome.

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There’s no denying that we are in uncertain and turbulent times – but unprecedented, I would disagree. I’m not an economist, but like anything else, I see patterns and cycles within the economy. It generally looks something like this: 10 years of economic growth, then 6 to 18 months of some sort of economic shock where the economy shrinks, confidence falls, people and companies spend less, layoffs occur, stocks fall and banks lend less money. But the thing is, a volatile economy can create just as many opportunities as it destroys for those who are willing to work harder than ever and capitalize.

The best in the game lean on friends, family and mentors, which can be the most effective way to get through times like this. You see, business evolves during economic shocks and pandemics. It’s a natural process that forces businesses to change, shift and transform for the better. Evolution does not care; evolution is always interested in what can be better.  The fact is that how we react as business leaders to the current and rapid shifts in social, economic and technological trends will define our business for the next decade. Looking back, some of the biggest brands and the world’s most renowned businesses were created during economic shocks, have a look here.

So, as you lead, remember to have a long-term view and to put your head down and work. You can’t control the timeline of this pandemic, but you can control the outcome.  It’s so important to have faith, especially in times like this. Having faith will allow you to prevail in the end. But the most diligent leaders and businesses confront the most brutal facts of our current reality. Yes, things are crazy, yes, some businesses will break, but know deep down inside that economic shocks are temporary and always come to an end. Know deep down inside we will get through this and when we do, be ready do your thing like you always have. My 85-year-old grandfather said it the best: “being successful is like riding a bike. Once you remember you’ll never forget….even if you fall down a couple of time.” So, the goal right now is to lead and survive.

In a recent email exchange with Marc Randolph, Netflix’s first CEO and co-founder, I asked a simple question – “when do you know it’s time to walk away from something?” A very real question that a ton of business leaders and owners are most likely asking themselves right now.  His answer was simple, practical and outlined 3 factors to consider:

1.     Protect your time – How much do you value your time?

2.     Ideas are limited – Can you continue to think of effective ways to survive and grow?

3.     Follow your gut – You have to trust in something.  

So, as you navigate through this pandemic, think about those 3 factors and make sure you come out of this in a better position.  Share your thoughts with me on Twitter.

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