As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to disrupt and change the way we work, our webinar “Leading Through The Pandemic” hosted by Dr Phil Squire, CEO of Consalia remains incredibly relevant. At a time where we may be slipping into bad habits, we wanted to remind you of some key points highlighted during the webinar. The Webinar touched upon key areas:
- Managing your change
- Looking after yourself both mentally and physically
- Connecting yourself with what your customers want
Here’s a recap of some the highlights...
How to practice leadership skills through a Pandemic?
First and foremost, it is key to remind yourself of your company’s motivations and targets so that you can deliver and exhibit the desired leadership skills needed to navigate through this pandemic.
The Stress Continuum which describes five different levels of stress that an individual can go through. The start of the continuum describes a more relaxed state of being ‘Unstressed’ with the next level being ‘Concerned’. In the middle you have ‘Eustressed’ which I shall explain more later in this blog, followed by more heightened stress states of ‘Anxious’ and ‘Distressed’.
“Eustressed” was coined by Hans Selye - pioneering Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist, conducted important scientific work on the hypothetical non-specific response of an organism to stressors, consisting of the Greek prefix “eu” meaning good and stress. It is described as a positive form of stress, beneficial to performance and motivation, where there is an optimal level of pressure that is required to enable you to focus on the results.
For example, those athletes that partake in competitive sport may have adrenaline running through their bodies just before an event and maybe feeling slightly nervous about it. However, that feeling is what drives maximum performance to achieve the desired results.
43% of webinar participants said they were in a ‘Eustressed’ state, with 36% saying they were ‘Concerned’. The remaining participants were split at either end of the continuum; 7% feeling ‘Unstressed’ and 14% feeling ‘Anxious’. since the second lockdown – still eustressed?
Many of you may have felt this before in your careers or may even be feeling this now; How do you think your team are feeling in the 2nd national lockdown?
Stephen Covey who wrote The 7 Habits, which says that it is best to focus on your Circle of Influence (the things you have control over) as opposed to the Circle of Concern (those which you cannot control) as it will enable you to relieve some of the anxiety and allow you to optimise your performance within the correct stress levels.
In a crisis, you see people's true values, both positive and negative and your leadership qualities must continue to inspire your team and those around you.
The best way to practice leadership skills is shown by academic research carried out by Conger & Kanungo, 1992 titled “Leadership in Crisis – Charismatic/Transformative Leadership” – these practices are shown as below:
- Acts as an Agent of radical change
- Strives to change the status quo
- Makes realistic assessments of environmental opportunities and constraints
- Sensitive to followers' needs and expectations
- Formulates idealised future vision
- Provides strong articulation
- Incurs personal risk
- Engages in unconventional behaviour
Phil and other participants had a great discussion on the webinar about these points so be sure to watch the this in its entirety, but:
How many of these practices can you relate to in your position?
These practices offer a different perspective on how to lead through a pandemic, which would not be typically found in articles of leadership on the web. Following the points above will enable you as a leader to inspire confidence in your team and help navigate crises.
What can we learn from managing our change?
It is necessary to establish your goals and your start point to effectively manage and track your change.
In a poll carried out within the Webinar, 50% of leaders kept their revenue targets the same with 8% planning on increasing sales targets. The justification behind this was the idea that they wanted to practise and keep the positivity up whilst working from home. By keeping the original targets, common goals or increasing them, it showed a confident mindset from the sales leader, as well as looking at other potential opportunities when others drawback their sales targets.
It was great to see that 83% of the leaders were looking to invest in Sales development during the Pandemic, where they were focused on job retention in the short term and strategizing and increasing Sales development in the long term to uncover opportunities during the Pandemic.
Phil alluded to the SARA Curve that was presented in the previous webinar ‘Thriving in Sales’, which is used to describe one of the emotional processes when dealing with a dramatic change. This will help you understand that many leaders are going through the same issues that you are experiencing and what you can do at each point to best overcome these changes.
Finally, Phil touches on Dr Samuel West’s work who created the ‘Museum of Failure” exhibition, to which he states, “If innovation is important, then as an organisation we need to promote that and if we are going to challenge the status quo, you will need to make a radical change, this will involve a high level of risk and potential failure”.
We feel that this quote is important to remember as it not only is relevant to a moment in crisis but also everyday life as an effective leader. So, you must not shy away or be embarrassed by failure. Learning from your failures is essential as it will help you develop into becoming a better leader moving forward.
What does customer-centricity look like right now?
If you are unsure what “Customer-centricity” means, we have included an excellent description from ‘Selling Transformed’, a book around developing the sales values which deliver competitive advantage, written by our very own Dr Phil Squire:
”It’s not just about the customer – it’s their entire ecosystem, including partners, suppliers, customers, competitors. Client-centricity requires curiosity, interest, passion to do the right thing for your client, going the extra mile to find out more, going the extra mile to leverage more value for the customer, demonstrating non-autobiographical listening skills. It’s consistently searching for new knowledge of the customer’s business and looking for ways to add value to their business.”
So, what does this mean for you in your business during a Pandemic?
As a leader, you should be interested in every aspect of your customers working world and investigate their issues so that you are knowledgeable about what they need and want. This will lead to you being passionate and dedicated about delivering the best results possible that you need to be accountable for. Most importantly you should be attentive in the aftercare of your customers to ensure that they are happy with the services and that you can answer questions and queries they may have.
With all the uncertainties that are happening in the world at the moment, you must become a strong leader who can help and support your team through a crisis. Either during this current pandemic we are all going through or an internal dramatic change within your company.
“But where do I start?”
We realise that some sales leaders around the world haven’t fully adapted to what is happening around them. But it needn’t be difficult.
Reach out to us if you’d like to talk more about this topic and what you could do as a sales leader to lead through this pandemic effectively.
Access the full webinar recording
To explore these topics in more detail, as well as the other subjects that Phil covered, you can access the ‘Leading Through the Pandemic’ webinar by sending us an email here. We’ll then provide you access via email.
If you know anyone on your team or other sales professionals in your network that may benefit from this webinar, please share details of the next webinar with them.