Our Managing Partner, Lance Winsaft, interviewed Felicia Lyon from Panthera Leadership, discussing best practices for leading your team at this time.
Lance: As an executive search firm, we’re working with a lot of executives, both in their career searches and then also with their hiring. In general, with executives, from your perspective as an executive and leadership coach, what is your best advice for someone in that demographic right now? Or just your best advice in general during a pandemic or a kind of crisis like we’re in.
Felicia: There are two parts to that answer. One, as the leader, you are the beacon, right? Everyone is looking to you for guidance, and so what was a normal stressful job, leading a business, being the anchor for your employees and your leadership team, that’s heightened now.
Keep Your Personal Relationships Front And Center
With all of that comes the increased pressure to take care of yourself, to make sure that you’re able to be resilient, right? So what does that look like? It’s keeping your relationships front and center, right? It’d be really easy to kind of fall back behind the computer and dive deep into the technical aspects of one’s job, but it really is that interaction with people that keeps us sane as humans.
The other side of that is keeping up with a structure in your day, and also getting in your own workout, right? Those things that kind of keep you even so that you’re able to put your best foot forward.
Keep Your Relationships With Employees Front And Center
The second part of that is really keeping the engagement with your employees front and center. So I’ve got a group of COOs that I’ve been working with and how they’ve been able to weather this storm is by going deeper in those relationships. And they’ve been pleasantly surprised about how much fun they’re having with it. When you’re working from home by yourself, it’s not always the most entertaining thing. But they’re finding the relationships that they’re building with their employee base helps them be more productive. They’re in it together and so it creates a deeper relationship that I think is going to carry beyond. Once we do return back to whatever the new normal is, those relationships will be even more solid. And so you’ll have higher levels of engagement, whereas hopefully lower turnover because you have those deeper relationships.
Lance: Yes, and like we’ve talked about before, people are what makes up an organization, so if you’re able to instill that kind of camaraderie and kind of loyalty, that goes a long way. This is definitely a unique opportunity for that.