LEADERS: Stay Focused on the Future

With COVID-19 cases still in existence and protests breaking out across the country, you may find yourself stuck in an anxious state. If you go downtown, you will see businesses, restaurants and other hospitality businesses boarded up all around you. This is very upsetting to the everyday Hoosier, but leaders must respond, react and put plans in place that will lead to a better future for all!

As always, don’t lose sight of the long-term vision for your company. Just realize that you’ll have to adjust your vision a bit. COVID-19 undoubtedly disrupted your plans for 2020, in a very unprecedented and unique manner. Like most businesses, you probably spent more time reacting daily than being proactive about anything else. But don’t beat yourself up. Now that we’re slowly reopening businesses, adjusting our workplaces and looking at our businesses through a different lens, it’s time to start fresh for 2020, recalibrate your expectations and move toward the future.

Think of this period from summer to winter as a “new year.” Talk to your staff about what may be the best return-to-work policy — be specific and communicate often, even overcommunicate. You should also work with your team in redefining your idea of success for 2020. Attack this period with a positive attitude but with conservative and realistic expectations.

Business may not be booming for a while, so how should you benchmark success? Think about meeting an adjusted revenue goal. Consider the successful, non-financial aspects of your business — the loyalty of your customers, your relationships with them and your staff members, employee morale, etc.

As to your customer relationships: underpromise and overdeliver. Your team’s attitude will set you apart!

Navigate the negative noise and focus on the positive. Maybe even send weekly or monthly updates to your team and customers about your small victories along this bumpy road to recovery. As the late, great Stephen Hawking said: “However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. It matters that you don’t give up.”

Maintaining a positive attitude as a leader, holding others accountable and planning for an improved last six months of 2020 will lay a foundation for what your future holds!