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Ten Leadership Must-Do’s to Survive the Pandemic
August 23, 2020 | By Neil Ducoff | 3 Comments
Last week’s blog post was a message on what it means to be an owner and leader in these crazy times.
Owners overwhelmingly responded that it was the right inspiration at the right time to push the ugliness of this pandemic aside. That it was an uplifting signal to re-embrace their visions with passion and determination.
The inspiration to keep pushing forward is so badly needed in these times. But inspiration alone has a short feel-good shelf life. Owners and leaders need more — much more.
This week’s blog post delivers the top ten leadership must-do’s that all owners need to practice consistently. Here they are:
- Engage, don’t retreat: Stress, fear, and dealing with challenges is the way it’s going to be for a while. The more you stay engaged, show up as the leader, and deal with challenges, the more in control you are. Retreating backs you up. Retreating is the equivalent of taking your hands off the steering wheel and your foot off the gas. KEY: Push forward. Show up. Be relentless. That’s what your business needs. That’s what your employees need to see. That’s what keeps you in control.
- Tackle problems before they tackle you: This pandemic is like a shooting gallery. Shoot one problem down and another pops up. The fact is, problems NEVER fix themselves. When unaddressed, problems dig in and get worse. The longer problems persist, the more motivation, productivity and cash flow suffer. KEY: When a problem reveals itself, it’s a sign that a system is not working, is being ignored, or needs upgrading. A problem is your call to action. Evaluate it. Identify the solution(s). Get your team informed and onboard. Get it fixed.
- Appreciation matters big time: If everyone knows the importance of showing appreciation, then why is it always in short supply? When owners get caught up in the “they just need to do their job” thinking, appreciation takes a hit. KEY: People work for more than money. People want to feel part of something special — not just being an employee or “revenue producer.” The simple act of positive acknowledgement does wonders to motivate, inspire, and strengthen cultures and job satisfaction. It’s not about giving money or a bonus. It’s about showing heartfelt appreciation for the work and effort of each and every employee.
- Hope is not a plan: Hope is a wonderful thing. But hope alone can’t take you very far. KEY: When there is no plan, there is no direction. The energy and positivity of hope takes hold when it’s attached to a plan. “Do more” is not a plan, it’s a command. A plan is a how-to guide to achieve the desired outcome. If you want to truly fill your team with hope, give them a plan. Give them the steps, accountabilities, milestones and a picture of what the win looks like.
- Cash flow is survival fuel: The key to surviving this pandemic is cash flow. Cash is fuel. Cash is what keeps a business alive and functioning. KEY: To have sufficient cash flow, your salon/spa needs to be profitable. To be profitable, you need to project monthly revenues and budget expenses (it’s called a cash-flow plan). The only way to know if you’re following your cash-flow plan is to pay ongoing attention to your Profit & Loss Statement and Balance Sheet. Profit is planned. Managing cash flow is a discipline. Want our help building your cash-flow plan? Learn more here.
- Share the load: You can’t do it all alone. Owners that try to do it all eventually burn out. Some owners don’t trust others to help with business responsibilities. The more an owner holds on to the controls, the less empowered (and valued) key employees feel. KEY: It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to share key responsibilities. To do so requires training, clearly defined expectations and positive oversight. Allow your trust to be earned. Allow others to help you protect and grow your company.
- Communication and transparency matters: Everyone is concerned about jobs, income, paying bills, family, safety and wellbeing. That’s why it’s so important for employees to be kept informed on where the company is at, what needs attention, what’s working and what’s not. Otherwise, employees make assumptions and wild-ass guesses that feed the rumor mill and spread drama. KEY: Information flow is the term we use to describe communication and transparency. That’s why daily huddles are so vital to set the tone and objectives for each day. That’s why sharing critical numbers, progress toward goal, and what needs attention keeps a team focused and on task. Everyone knows that getting through this pandemic requires stepping up and hard work. They need to know what stepping up and hard work looks like.
- Never assume you know what’s going on: Whenever an owner’s response to a problem is, “How was this happening right under my nose?”, it means the owner wasn’t paying the right level of attention to what’s going on. KEY: Owners get distracted. Owners get overconfident that things are going well and that people are locked onto the systems. They stop checking in. They blindly trust rather than inspect. It’s good leadership to check in on progress, procedures, and the work of those you lead. It keeps everyone on task. It’s simply called accountability.
- Productivity and prebook rates are vital: During this pandemic, with mandated reduced occupancy, driving and maintaining your company’s overall productivity rate is more critical than ever. KEY: Prebook has an immediate impact on driving the future productivity rate. Last minute cancelations, no shows, and clients waiting longer between visits, makes efficient prebooking and confirmations more important than ever. Better end-of-service consultations, focused on proper maintenance cycles and prebooking, means more training and scripting. Now is the time for you to lead and for your employees to step up.
- You must believe for your team to believe: There will be days that beat you down. There will be challenges to deal with and tough decisions to make. But all problems have a solution. All storms give way to sunshine and blue skies. This pandemic will pass and there’s no doubt that things will be different. KEY: Now is the time to believe in your ability to lead your company through this crisis. Now is the time to grab hold of that vision that got you into business and start saying, “Yes I can — yes we can.” The more you believe, the more your team will believe that tomorrow will be better than today.
Here’s my challenge to you: Print out these ten must-do’s and post them where you can see them every day.
Share them with your team so they know and understand what you’re focused on and determined to achieve.
There is too much at stake to allow the ugliness of this pandemic to take away all that you and your team have worked for.
If there were ever a time for you to be a No-Compromise Leader, this is surely it.