The brand new challenges for leaders and the best way to rise above them


22, 2020

5 min read

The opinions expressed by the entrepreneur's contributors are their own.

Managers have always faced some challenges. From developing strategic opportunities to strengthening the workforce, the pillars of leadership have not changed. And the best leaders are always the ones who can adapt quickly. But a lot has changed and our world today brings us unique challenges.

As we turn the calendar for the New Year, the challenges we have faced over the past 365 days will influence many of our future decisions.

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How we present our company to the world.

It's time we all stood up for something. Businesses shouldn't just fall back on old marketing strategies to raise awareness.

In the past, companies often did not want to get into social problems for fear of alienating potential customers. Based on the National Retail Federation's 2020, The Evolving Conversation On Consumer Values, 74% of respondents agree that companies' behavior during this time has an impact on whether they will do business with those companies in the future. If we don't speak, that speaks volumes in and of itself.

Today's customer needs to know where we stand on the real problems that our world is facing. If we don't give them clarity, they will go somewhere else and find someone to do it.

Now social platforms and email lists are personal ways to strengthen our organization's position on current events. We can use this media to be open and honest. Be honest when you face challenges due to the current climate in your company.

Downsizing, inventory shortages or customer service availability are common problems. Now is the time to humanize our businesses. Today's consumer not only forgives brands that are working towards change, but they also actively seek out brands that are not apologetically honest with their current state and goal. The new perfect is flawed.

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How we communicate with our team

U.S. remote working increased from 31% before the pandemic to 62%, according to a 2020 Gallup report. With many of us no longer working in physical locations, the way we communicate with our team has never been more important. Today leaders must lead with empathy, vulnerability, patience, humility, and generosity.

Stress and anxiety are at their peak for many. If you give our team verbal permission to take it easy on yourself, you can significantly relieve unnecessary tension. When we've surrounded ourselves with high performers, they will likely strive to produce at the same level of production as they did before the pandemic. However, this mentality can quickly lead to burnout.

The Census Bureau recently reported that a third of Americans have had clinical signs of anxiety and depression since the pandemic began. We are facing a unique challenge. As managers, it is therefore crucial that we pay close attention to how everyone interacts with one another on a daily basis. A little can tell a lot.

In one-on-one meetings, try to focus the conversation more on providing support. I start all of my meetings with a very honest, "So how are you?" or "How are you?" By showing empathy for everyone's potential stress level. We will continuously build trust and keep everyone busy.

Related: 19 Self-Care Accessories to Start the New Year

How we take care of ourselves

Self-care has never been more important than it is now. When your job is to run a business and lead a team of people during a global crisis, the hours of operation can easily slip into the quiet hours of the night.

Too many nights of little sleep can affect your mental and physical health. Now that we work from home, an evening routine for transitioning from the work brain to the home brain is a must.

Meditation is a great way to start the unwinding process from your day. Even five minutes with your eyes closed while you focus on controlling your breath is a great way to relax into your evening. If meditation isn't for you, end the day with a walk or take a bath. Find something to help you transition from work to rest.

This should go without saying, but make sure you have a proper dinner meal. I know adults read this, but it's way too easy to keep the computer open all evening and browse. Eight hours of sleep should be mandatory to maintain effectiveness. So call at an appropriate time and live to work another day. As the saying goes, put on your oxygen mask before helping others. If you don't take care of yourself, you may not be doing your best for your business and the people you serve.