Can forced change lead to business growth?

Coffee mug stamped with the word "begin" resting on a wooden table.

by Patti Rowlson

“We are standing in the midst of a marketplace disruption. We are in it; we are no longer talking about the potential of one.”

EntreLeadership

How true are those words?

Whether your small business is closed during the coronavirus pandemic, or whether your business, as an essential service provider, is experiencing unprecedented growth, the market as you know it has been disrupted. Now what?

In times of uncertainty and chaos – and even in times when I’m simply looking for inspiration – I turn to this go-to resource: EntreLeadership.

I have tuned into their weekly leadership podcasts and attended free business education webinars many times in recent years.  I always walk away with fresh insight and a strong desire to keep driving my business forward while taking care of our clients and supporting our team.

If you are anxious about what the future holds for your business, or if you are struggling with how to lead your team through this crisis, I highly recommend tuning into the free offerings available through EntreLeadership.

Recommended: Episodes No. 294 and higher deal directly with how to manage your business through COVID-19.

I recently listened to an informative and inspiring webinar presented by EntreLeadership. The topic was how to lead in times of crisis. There were many takeaways and quotes, including the one at the beginning of this article, that I wrote down during the two-hour online event. I’ll share some standout statements with you here. These tips, I believe, are applicable in any crisis situation.

  • This is a season in business. It will pass.
  • Plan today as if failure is not an option. Understand that you won’t have all the answers but that you will figure it out.
  • It is totally OK for you, as the leader, to make decisions and change your mind later. New information is coming in all the time. Make the best decision you can with the knowledge you have today; shift as needed. “You must pivot upon the punch.”
  • Facts are your friend. Turn down the noise. Turn off traditional media and stop consuming sensationalized “news” that is presented on social media.
  • Go directly to the source; read reports from the Centers for Disease Control, your state governor’s office and the local health department.
  • Don’t let fear fog your thinking and impair decision-making processes. Do work from a place of being centered, wise and not panicked.
  • Use whatever data you have to look ahead and track income – what is coming in today and what you expect in the weeks ahead. Watch for dips and quickly adjust your overhead and expenses.
  • Pivot to meet the new needs of the marketplace. What you did in the past may no longer work in the new market.
  • Communicate clearly with your team. Let them see this crisis through the same lens you are using. Clarity reduces fear, and clarity helps members of your team think more like owners.

There was one higher-level message that came through loud and clear, and that was that if you are intentional with your efforts, it is possible to come out of this crisis with a stronger business than you went into it with.

In times of great adversity, we can grow the most as an individual and as a business.

I believe this to be true. Whether your business is in survival mode, or whether you are winning like never before, the adversity we’re living through now is forcing us to grow and evolve as leaders. How can we not be better from that?

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