Leveraging Culture and Leadership to Successfully Return to Business

Two key factors are greatly influencing pandemic responses and outcomes across the globe: culture and leadership style. As businesses begin to reopen and return to “normal” operations, it’s vital they understand the roles that culture and leadership play in doing so seamlessly and effectively.

COVID-19 AND LEADERSHIP AROUND THE WORLD 

What Can I Do? Some Answers to Our White Allies in the Fight

Over the past week or so, I have received numerous texts from my white coworkers, friends, and mentors with the same sentiment: what can I do to help? At first, I didn’t want to respond to the question because there are so many things you can do as an ally, but it will take work and the ability to examine yourself with a lens you have never used before. But if you are up for the task, then it can be a journey that will make you a better person. Here are just a few things to consider.

Am I an “ally” everywhere?

Dismantle Racism

With the disturbing events of the past week in the U.S., I write with a heavy heart and lots of anger and frustration. Across the country, people are horrified by the recent killings of three African Americans: Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. And these are only a few of the most recent deaths to cause particular anguish among those who far too long have endured indignity after indignity.

Developing Talent in Crisis and Beyond

As many of us look at how businesses can survive during this pandemic-induced business slowdown (or shutdown for many), it should be obvious that leadership is more important than ever. The leadership choices being made today will have profound and long-term impacts not only on the business, but on employee engagement and loyalty. Most leaders will be thinking about the defensive moves that they need to make to protect their businesses. A few will be thinking about opportunities that may provide chances to grow or redirect their market positioning.

Leading Through Disruption

Anyone in a leadership position at this point in time is likely feeling a great deal of pressure and personal responsibility to do the right thing without the advantage of a clear and dependable playbook. With these unprecedented and uncertain times, we can utilize wisdom from the past to help leaders be a stabilizing force as we try to make sense of our present environment and prepare for what lies ahead. Demonstrating resilience in these turbulent times is critical to weathering adversity.

Big Decisions Are Looming

Chief executive officers and companies are navigating tremendously difficult decisions in response to COVID-19 with regard to how to keep employees and customers safe while remaining financially solvent. Yet other big decisions loom on the horizon. Namely, what are the unintended consequences of slamming the economy to a halt and asking healthy people to remain home? And how long can we do it? Inarguably, the rapid response of business and local government to shut down and help flatten the curve is the right thing to do, yet another set of hard questions and trade-offs lie in wait.

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