One characteristic that great leaders possess, and which separates them from the rest, is their ability to remain motivated and enthusiastic during adversity. When obstacles arise and the achievement of their goals and objectives are threatened, they rely on their contingency plans, and with confidence, enforce them. Leaders are always one step ahead, which is why they’re currently planning for post lockdown/pandemic.
Here are 5 Tips for planning like the best of them:
Learn from the present to plan for the future
We learn more from adversity and challenges than we do when things are ‘easy’. Right now, this crisis has much to teach leaders about remote working arrangements and productivity, staff motivation and team agility. These are just some of the lessons leaders can take away from this crisis, and they should be taken into consideration when planning for the future. What makes this time rather beneficial for leaders, is that things have been put into practice and the data drawn from these ‘tests’ – such as working from home, will assist in future decision-making.
Identify opportunities and threats
The pandemic has brought about immense change in most industries. While some of the changes are unfortunate and have meant the loss of jobs, downscaling of businesses, and more; sometimes even unfortunate change can bring about opportunity – such as the increased accessibility to talent, for example. Leaders need to learn from the businesses and industries around them to ensure they’re aware of the threats (such as competition, or the possibility of having the same unfortunate events happen to them) and make adjustments to ensure the security and growth of their teams. Leaders also need to keep a pulse on the possible opportunities within their industries and even their teams – because when things are ‘shaken up’, most times they create gaps of opportunity.
After identifying your opportunities and threats, it’s important to brainstorm different scenarios so as to make the best decision for your team, going forward. Since this is an unprecedented time, and leaders have no experience dealing with the aftermath of such an event, it’s important that you consider all options, scenarios and, possible impacts and opportunities of each. This is essentially a ‘roadmap’ for yourself and your team so that everyone has a pretty good idea of what the future will look like and the change management process they can expect. This also gives an indication of the skills teams and individuals will need to work on or acquire in order to remain valuable and achieve success.
Be confident in your approach to challenges and opportunity
One of the key characteristics of a great leader is their ability to get people to buy into and become enthusiastic about their vision. During uncertain, worrying times, teams will be looking to their leaders for guidance and they especially want to see them confident about their vision and the goals and objectives that’ll help get them there. It is important, however, to address the challenges that may arise (because teams know this is not an easy time for business). Being honest and transparent is essential if you want your teams on board with your vision and motivated to execute their skills.
Leaders are human: they can be fearful too. However, they should never show their fears to their teams, and especially not now. It’s vitally important that leaders plan thoroughly so as to feel confident about their vision and eradicate their own fears. Fear should never transfer to teams, and it’s the leader’s responsibility to dispel fear amongst their teams too.