CEO Succession and the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the coronavirus crisis impacts our society, it creates some unique challenges for boards. One of the major issues under consideration is whether the chief executive officer who took you to this point is the same leader who can take your company through this challenge and beyond. Ultimately, leaders are judged by the way they perform during the worst of times, and the current crisis represents a challenge that no current CEO has seen previously in their careers. How CEOs and their teams perform during these moments of truth will be an unforgiving test of their character.

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.

Twenty-First Century Leadership for Twenty-First Century Problems

Twentieth century leadership was characterized by the heroic, brilliant individual leaders who led countries and people out of wars and into prosperity. Twenty-first century leaders are those who can quickly pull together other great minds to solve complex problems. One of the reasons the federal government of the United States is struggling to respond to COVID-19 is because it is set up to implement policy, not to solve complex problems.

The New Normal Is Now

As we enter a middle phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, our clients are rapidly moving from shock and crisis to thinking about a world that will be changed for the foreseeable future. There is a good reason to do so. As much of the industrialized world remains in quarantine, we are all changing the way that we work and live in real time. These changes will lead to new, adaptive, and resilient behavior patterns that are likely to drive profound shifts in economic activity and value.

A Time for Reflection

The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted lives throughout the world. The social distancing we have reluctantly adopted to protect ourselves from the threat of contamination has reduced or eliminated our in-person interactions with the people who have been a part of our social experience. We are now hunkered down with only a few others and with ourselves. Both the occupation of our time and attention at work as well as outlets for our entertainment and diversion have been greatly reduced or removed altogether. We have been challenged to develop new ways to spend our waking hours.

COVID-19 Special Leadership Edition | March 26

At RHR, we believe that leadership is a noble endeavor and, if done well, is a force for good in the world. In this unprecedented moment in history, good leadership is now, more than ever, critical to the well-being of our world, nation, communities, and all of our businesses.

Here we present four resources to help you and your organization respond and adapt to the repercussions of COVID-19. 

I hope that you and those around you remain safe and well.

Sincerely,

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