Leadership During COVID-19: Hitting the Right Notes with Uncertainty Management

Uncertainty management

Our age-old knowledge and mechanisms for tackling uncertainties have suddenly been challenged by the petrifying pandemic. To date, we had made our ways through the recurrent disturbances, embraced the global tides of digitization, advanced business frameworks, technology makeover, and what not with all our innate as well as acquired skills. Even the businesses had been challenging the usual perceptions of executive decision-making for years. But the COVID-19 wave had landed us all amid the most uncertain times of all times.

There had been a lot of noise regarding the uncertainty management of late. But are we trying to hit the right notes on this? Or are we just throwing our hands here and there and ultimately gaining nothing out of anything?

The scope of the COVID-19 pandemic being more global, its impact is more profound and the crisis generated by it being more complex, the present-day decision-makers are in a huge dilemma whether or not to take some bold steps. Even then, the pandemic has kicked off our abilities to maneuver uncertainties.

At such a precarious time like this, leadership should be all about striking the right balance between lucidity, mettle, and modesty. Good decision-making is very often obstructed by brashness, biased data, or incomplete knowledge and even dilly-dallying, not uncertainty. Proper execution of intelligent thinking based on the status quo can hugely help in foreseeing prospects.

So, all you can do now as a leader is to guide your teams through this crisis, through this uncertainty, and demonstrate thoughtfulness towards all the probable repercussions. A few proven tips to start with –

  1. Consider the influence of COVID-19 on the mental and physical welfare of the employees and to some extent, their families
  2. Try to secure them financially and in case, some reductions are obligatory, make sure it is maintained throughout the organization
  3. Do not indulge in layoffs, as long as possible. A layoff should be your last resort. As put forward by Mr. Ratan Tata (Chairman of Tata Trusts) himself – “These are the people that have worked for you, these are the people who have served you all their careers so you send them out to live in the rain? Is that your definition of ethics when you treat your labor force that way?”
  4. Brace up for an economic deterioration
  5. Interact more with the employees and hear their part of the story. Successful communication is known to be a two-way road

Yes, the COVID-19 period is going to be a long one and it is going to impact every aspect of our lives, but we’ll get back to normal. The entire world will do it together, as a consolidated and unified force. With thoughtful and resilient leadership, our organizations and our employees will come out victorious of this one-of-a-kind uncertainty.

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