In previous articles, we have talked about “Leading Through Crisis,” which is essentially absorbing the shock, re-establishing stability, and shifting the mindset and resources of yourself and your team in order to maintain business viability.
But what comes after the crisis?
Thankfully, crises don’t last forever.
They may seem to when you are in the midst of them; but in the timeline of life, they are short, but highly impactful spikes.
Crossing the bridge from crisis to normal is not a matter of going back, as many would surmise. It is a matter of going forward, to a new normal. No one knows exactly what that will look like; yet we are all, each day, getting closer to it.
“It” is the Surge.
When water surges to the shore, it creates a wave, which is beautifully enamoring and exciting. It is also roaringly adventurous, and somewhat dangerous. It can carry you forward if you know how to ride it or pull you under if you don’t. While you may have stabilized in the crisis, which is good, you need to be preparing now for the surge that will come.
This means preparing yourself for life and business after the crisis.
Mike Michalowicz, author of Surge says, “You don’t need to wait for a lucky break. You can make it yourself.”
What should you be doing right now?
1. Watch the market.
Beyond what consumers are seeking now, which are the essentials, what will they be looking for after the crisis? What will they buy? Where will they go? How will they operate? What will be their new desires and focus? What will be their concerns? What actions will they take based on the crisis experience?
Redefine your business avatar. You may not serve the same clients and customers after the crisis. Or you may serve the same clients and customers, but in a different way. The key is to know what people need and want, even before they know they will need and want it.
2. Evaluate your service.
While wants and desires may shift, there is one constant. Your clients and customers will always be asking, “What’s in it for me? How can you help me?”
In fact, they will be asking, “How can you help me NOW?” This is the question you, as a business leader, should be asking yourself as it relates to them: How are you going to help your people NOW, as the crisis ends, and life moves forward?
Accept that you may have to change in order to stay relevant to their new needs and wants. You may have to change what you do or how you do it.
For example, if you are in the food business, you know that people will always have a need to eat. But they may change how and where they eat. Will they want to return to traditional restaurants and sit-down dinners, or will they continue to prefer take-out and delivery? Will they prefer all-you-can-eat self-serve lines or dedicated table service? Will healthy foods and cleaner environments be a factor in their decision-making?
3. Time the wave.
Timing is a matter of discussion right now. Everyone wants to know when the crisis will end. Like a wave, it will likely be a slow roll that builds increasingly and then swiftly carries everyone to a different place. As a business leader, this means you must keep your proverbial “ear to the ground” so you know when it starts to near the shallow waters. Prepare now and be ready for when that happens.
In fact, now is the perfect time to be evaluating and preparing for the wave that will come…now before it comes. If you wait, your timing will be too late.
4. Take the risk.
Where you see an opportunity coming, be willing to take the risk. The wave will be swift, and if you hesitate, you could be lost. Position yourself and your business to ride in sync with the wave, and it will carry you forward.
You have led yourself and your team through the shock, to stability, and you have shifted mindsets and resources. Focus now on the surge so you and your team can ride the wave to newfound success!
For more resources on Leading through Crisis, click here to learn about the Maxwell Method of Communications Impact Report.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.