It is times like these that our leadership and the truth about our brand culture are defined. No more hiding behind pretty posters or fluffy pretending. Game on!

By Renie Cavallari

It is times like these that our leadership and the truth about our brand culture are defined. No more hiding behind pretty posters or fluffy pretending. Game on!

As Mark Cuban recently said: “How companies respond to coronavirus will define their brand for decades…”

We have all experienced challenging times in the past and what they all have in common is that people need leaders to shine the light so they feel confident that their leaders have a plan to lead the way forward. What we have learned with COVID is that people need each other now more than ever as social distancing has impacted our emotional connection. Humans are emotional beings and we need each other.

Here are a few tips on how to make this difficult time your leadership legacy. We are sharing 10 tips though we have hundreds that can help you make this time a great story of when your team got stronger due to adversity. Everyone has different team dynamics so please pick actions that reflect your team’s realities. What is important is that you look at your team’s realities and strengthen your cultural connection from there.

1. Transparent communication. Host a morning coffee with or without the boss at least once a week. People can handle the truth. What they can’t handle is uncertainty.

2. Zoom went from 10 million users to 200 million in 3 months (should have bought that stock!). Visual communication engages, shares body language which is 55% of what a person is really saying and allows you to create a fun, connected environment for your team and your customers.

3. Establish accountability systems that help your team members stay focused on their deliverables, Make sure the team is focused on what matters most now. We suggestion utilizing Asana, HubSpot, Goggle Docs or the like and establish a morning ritual where each person inputs the big deliverables for the day. At the end of each day have them highlight those that didn’t get done. Don’t be afraid of accountability just because people are in uncertain times. Productivity actually makes us feel good and focusing on what needs to get done helps us manage the at-home interruptions. .

4. Daily stand ups have never been more important. Same time on Zoom each day. Report out on your deliverables, share a fun video, keep people connected.

5. It is hard and important to find ways to stay connected to those who are furloughed or laid off. We all need connection and being laid off and losing your work connection is tough in any environment yet alone one where social distancing is a minimum responsibility. If you want people to come back, check in with them.

6. Find apps that create fun and connection. For aspire we are nuts over House Party. Create fun interactives for people to rally around using the app of your choice. Make sure that fun is part of your remote work experience. Hell, make sure it is part of your life experience!

7. Whatever your preference use Slack, Whats App, Marco Polo, Microsoft Teams, or the like as a platform to share success, funny videos, exciting news and congratulations. Have one space where things are about positivity and progress. Remember, just a little progress creates momentum.

8. Yes, the economy is a mess. Watch how much time you spend in this reality. You can’t control it so make sure you are focused on the opportunities you can create. We suggest getting your people together an hour a week to think about what you can do to solve your new business problems and the ones your clients are concerned about. Uncertainty equals Opportunity.

9. Courage. Clarity. Calmness. Now is the time to make the courageous decisions. I get it. It feels terrible to make decisions that will disappoint people you care about no matter the numbers. Leaders act with courage, clarity and calmness.

10. Have guests to your Zoom team meetings on occasion. A real estate expert on what is happening in their market place, someone from the technology industry on what is happening in that world. Ask friends to speak on what they know. Or start a book club. Learning opens are minds and gets us thinking differently. Times are changing fast and thinking differently is something we must all embrace.

There is no easy road here and what we can control is our mind set. It goes beyond staying positive. We need to keep our focus on what matters most. Our teams focused on real productivity, so they feel good about what they are contributing and how they are helping each other weather the storm. Look for progress through finding the small steps forward, the opportunities ahead… and how you are giving back. Giving puts our mind in a place of gratitude and gratitude is a gift we give our souls as it uplifts us regardless of the day we just had.

I recently heard a quote from Robin Roberts the TV Anchor who shared something her mother used to say: “there is no limit on gratitude”.

We all lead through our daily actions. How we lead isn’t about our reputation. It is about our character. Now is your defining time.

All in, Renie