By Michael Gunther

I don’t know about you, but being a business owner and team leader as the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to unfold has created a level of stress and ambiguity on how this situation may impact our families, our clients, our teams and our communities.  I know this is unchartered territory for most of us on our leadership journey. It is at times like this that test our leadership, as well as our desire to problem solve to stabilize our situation.

The stress can be debilitating or we can choose to channel this stress on supporting our various stakeholder communities. First and foremost, make sure you are taking the necessary precautions to protect your families and your team – be on the side of cautiousness since there are so many unknowns about the virus as it is unfolding in our communities.

Have empathy and compassion for where people are in their reaction to the situation. As leaders, we should acknowledge the different reactions individuals may be experiencing while providing guidance and comfort – even when you may be struggling within yourself. Communication is key – let your team know what you are doing and how you are responding – they want to know their leaders are generating a path to resolution.

Understand where your clients may be in their own journey. What you are feeling, they are probably feeling. Reach out to clients and check in on how they are doing. Ask if there is anything you can do to help support them – remember this current challenge in our economy and society will pass and we will most likely be stronger because of it – client-centric leaders are focused on long term relationships, worry less about short term losses and focus on long term relationships and goals.

Lastly, take care of yourself. You need to find your own outlets to channel your stress so that you can bring calm and leadership to those that count on you.

This time will pass and how you respond as a leader could save lives, relieve individuals’ stress and provide an opportunity to build stronger relationships with your clients. Let’s be the leaders that we want to follow and get through this as a community of proactive, collaborative business leaders together.

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