“This virus will not defeat us. On the contrary. It will make us stronger as a society; a society that is more committed, more caring, more united. A society that stands up to any adversity.” That was one of the most outstanding messages of the speech that the head of state, King Felipe VI, gave to the nation on Wednesday. A plea that already joins the already offered by the Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, and the rest of the prime ministers and presidents of the rest of the countries of the world. The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic is a challenge that must be assumed by all of society as a whole, but which must be led. And how should private sector figures manage that leadership?
The public sector is not the only one called to fight coronavirus, the private sector is also. Tax the Alarm State, the managers of the most important companies in the country can also play a fundamental role in this crisis.
An example is the giant Inditex, led by Amancio Ortega, who has not only promised not to fire employees, but has put all its logistics at the service of the fight against the virus and has donated 300,000 masks. And another example is Mercadona, with Juan Roig in charge, who not only He has assured that there will be no supply problems in Spain, but that he will raise the wages of his workers by 20% in the month of March.
A CEO is key in an organization, but it is more so in times of crisis, and that of the coronavirus is one of the greats. Next, you have a series of tasks and functions that you must assume as CEO, if you are, or that you must command the CEO of your company, if you are an employee.
The six steps of leadership in a crisis
Gary Burnison, the CEO of consulting firm Korn Ferry, explains that the most common thing in times of crisis is for people to turn to the leader for definitive answers. Some that often do not exist. In fact, what a leader should best manage is uncertainty, his own and that of his employees: “During crises, ambiguity becomes exponential. As fear becomes contagious in all organizations, leaders must manage his own responses to ambiguity. ” The advice of this consultant to face the crisis are as follows:
1. Anticipate: predicting what’s ahead
2. Navigate the crisis: make and correct decisions in real time
3. Communicate: continuously
4. Listen: especially what you don’t want to hear
5. Learn: learn from experience to apply in the future
6. Poise: your mission is to elevate others
E action plan
The consultancy Bain & Company explains that companies must prepare for the worst and be thankful that it does not happen. For them, the biggest problem that companies must take on is the substantial interruption of income, leading to a possible liquidity crisis for many companies. Here are some tips for business leaders in this coronavirus pandemic to take.
1.The first decision has had to be the protection of employees against contagion. In this sense, Gary Burnison explains that the first thing is to go to the base of the Maslow pyramid: “in a crisis, the first thing that must be satisfied is the most basic needs that must be satisfied.”
2. Have an open and totally sincere communication with the entire staff: “Align the entire team with the true gravity of the COVID-19 macro situation and the worst financial scenarios,” explains Bain & Company.
3. The CEO must form a crisis work team with the most qualified profiles. This team, which Bain & Company calls the war team, must prioritize and implement major workflows and must break the usual reporting and updating cycles. In this sense, Gary Burnison relates that in times of crisis the important becomes urgent, and the urgent becomes critical. So leaders must delegate the urgent to their management team and the CEO must assume the critical.
3. Another key point of this action plan, according to Bain & Company, is to avoid innaction: “Waiting and seeing could harm the company,” he says. “In the midst of uncertainty, leaders must be hyper-focused on past experiences and synthesize and apply them to fluid conditions in real time,” explains Gary Burnison.
4. Outline macro scenarios and translate them into contingency plans. Thus, the management team must outline specific COVID-19 macro scenarios, must translate those scenarios into tangible plans to reduce revenues and interrupt operations, and must begin to plan movements without regret: there will be an impact; start acting.