As the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, some organizations will prevail while for others the future may be very bleak. The actions and behaviours of business leaders and their teams right now will significantly determine how organisations will fare in the long months ahead.
A crisis by its nature causes fear, and leaders and their teams will be very anxious. To cope with the crisis there is a need to both Lead and Manage effectively – but it is important to know that these things are both quite different. Managing is all about addressing the immediate needs with quick decision-making and actions key to success. Leading in comparison, is about guiding people to the best outcome over the longer term, where strategic decisions based on predicting the likely future becomes very important. This is especially relevant right now.
According to the Harvard Business Review, who have researched and observed public and private-sector executives in high-stakes, high-pressure situations, they have reported that ‘crises are most often over-managed and under-led’.
So the challenge for all leaders out there is to step back from the urge to firefight from a day-to-day management perspective, and instead to effectively road-map a long term plan that supports your team and wider organisation over time.