The global pandemic is not the first time that small business owners and entrepreneurial leadership teams have faced challenges.
If you’re part of a seasoned leadership team, then you’ve weathered other storms –recessions, economic downturns, or a decreased demand for your products or services. Knowing how to stay calm, take action, and lead through a crisis is critical to organizational survival. At EOS®, we believe that leadership teams can seize this moment to get reset on their core targets, Core Focus™, and core values and then get realigned to become even stronger than before.
And as CJ DuBe’, Global Community Leader at EOS Worldwide and Certified EOS Implementer® tells us, “It’s going to take a lot of grit to dig in and be those strong leaders for everyone around us.”
4 Things Entrepreneurial Leadership Teams Should Do Right Now
Back in 2015, EOS Founder Gino Wickman released a series of Passionate Pleas in which he revealed four critical disciplines that had helped his clients stay focused on doing the right things, even in tough times:
- Passionate Plea’s from Gino Wickman I
- Passionate Plea’s from Gino Wickman II
- Passionate Plea’s from Gino Wickman III
They’re as relevant today as they were back then. Our Lead Now video discussion on Leading Through Crisis further unpacks Gino’s message and adds to the discussion. Here are the key takeaways:
1. Put The Company First And Create A Plan
Emotions are running high right now, but we won’t be in this current crisis mode forever. Even if things are tough right now, one day, there will be high demand for the products and services you offer. Leaders need to make the tough decisions that will help their company survive right now. It’s hard to reduce your team or the number of hours they can work, but it might be necessary for survival.
Ask yourself: “Who are the essential people and what are the essential functions we need to survive this moment to position us for success when we come out the other side?”
Don Tinney, co-founder of EOS Worldwide® and Certified EOS Implementer breaks this down further:
“What happens in tough times is we get a little disoriented and we are not clear, so it’s kind of like you got smacked in the head and you’re trying to get your senses and figure out what to do next. What makes great leaders is that they’re clear about what needs to happen next.”
Tinney says that this is the perfect time for Taking Clarity Breaks™.
“In a time of crisis, Clarity Breaks are essential. By taking a Clarity Break you can get clear about where you’re going so you can lead your team.”
2. Stay Logical And Accept Brutal Facts
Once you’re clear on what needs to happen next, you’ll want to stay logical and not get distracted by the chaos around you.
Mark O’Donnell, visionary at EOS Worldwide says:
“Assess what you have at your disposal right now and in an almost unemotional manner, accept those brutal facts and move forward.”
Typically, we teach our clients to look six to 12 months into the future when creating their Accountability Chart™. The Accountability Chart is how we structure the organization with roles and responsibilities and put all the right people in the right seats.
The same rules apply when things are hard. A Reverse Accountability Chart can help you look out for three to six months, and if you anticipate revenues dropping, allows you to structure the company for that revenue drop — which of course means making more tough decisions.
Gino talked about this in a blog post earlier this year:
“If you are going to lose revenue, be it 10, 20, or 50%, you must now apply a Reverse Accountability Chart. This is your new normal. It might mean layoffs and huge expense cuts. You have to set your ego aside. If you were once a $10 million company and now you are about to go back to $5 million, simply go back to the structure and expenses that worked at $5 million (you’ve done this once before and you can do it again). And you are probably going to be doing some things you used to do and once delegated to someone.”
Remember this is not forever. It’s just for now and it’s going to help you survive.
3. Be Fanatically Disciplined And Keep Your Processes
Once you’ve got a game plan and you’ve made the tough decisions needed to move forward, it’s important to stay disciplined.
This means sticking to what works, following your Reverse Accountability Chart, using data to make smart decisions, and avoiding shiny objects or unnecessary changes. This is when you should be doubling down on the processes necessary to provide the structure your company needs to survive.
“We’re not taking risks during this time,” O’Donnell emphasizes.
4. Be Your Best Self While Caring For Others
The world around you may seem like it’s on fire and everything is important, but you owe it to your people and your company to take care of yourself. This means forming good sleep habits, eating a healthy diet, and taking time for things like meditation or gentle exercise.
CJ DuBe’ reminds us, “Stay mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy and you’ll be able to help everyone around you.”
“It also means being a good example for your people. If they see you, the leader, saying no or yes to the right things, it makes them want to follow your example,” Tinney adds.
Don’t Freeze: Face the Future Bravely
Finally, don’t freeze.
“If you’re going to freeze you need to step down,” says Tinney.
Sometimes saving the business means letting someone else on your leadership team step up and take the reigns. This doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. It means that you’ve faced the future bravely and put the company first.
- Download the Issues Solving Track™ from the EOS Toolbox™️ to learn how to IDS (Identify, Discuss, and Solve) issues more effectively.
- Learn to make decisions faster and better by downloading a copy of our free EOS eBook, Decide!
- Download a free chapter of Traction by Gino Wickman