Apr 20, 2020 | Leadership

You’re probably getting flooded with free advice right now. You suddenly have access to everything from ways to indulge yourself without breaking the budget, to virtual art and culture exhibits to unlimited, free training and development during the coronavirus. The options for what to do during this unprecedented time in history can be overwhelming. If you’re facing a deluge of distractions right now, chances are that your team members are too. Now, more than ever, it’s critical that you lean in and takes some basic steps as a leader to keep you team focused and productive.

We’re conducting a series of leadership webinars to help you steer your ship in the middle of this storm. You can access the webinar recorded version of our April 9th webinar here, and follow the notes below for “3 Things You Should Be Doing Right Now to Lead Your Team Through This Crisis.”

#1 – Build a Cohesive Leadership Team

Whether you’re a student of Stephen M.R. Covey’s The Speed of Trust or Patrick Lencioni’s The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, you know that trust is like the oil that keeps an engine running.

  • Both Covey and Lencioni agree that high trust increases speed and delivers results.

Can your leadership team do the following?

  • Admit weaknesses and mistakes
  • Ask for help
  • Accept constructive feedback
  • Assume positive intent
  • Focus on the goal, not personal politics

If not, take advantage of online tools like the free trial of the Five Dysfunctions of a Team offered by Lencioni’s The Table Group. Use these tools to help you get vulnerable with each other, so that you can work together collectively and help your organization emerge stronger.

#2 – Have a Temporary Rallying Cry 

For the next 2 months, create clarity that breaks through the distraction and focuses on 3-5 key objectives that your team should be focusing on to get you through this time. Your rallying cry could be “Prevent Layoffs,” “Save Jobs,” or “Make this a Time of Cohesiveness and Innovation”.

Next, build a simple scorecard to track those key objectives and use a basic red/yellow/green stoplight schema to track your progress. You can use tools like PowerPoint or Excel or even an inexpensive online cloud-based scorecard like one offered by Spider Strategies to track your progress.

#3 – Use Online Meeting Tools to Overcommunicate

If you’re like us, Zoom has become your go-to virtual tool to stay connected. Zoom hosted a webinar recently to address some of the issues they’ve had about Zoombombing, so be aware of the security measures you’ll need have in place as you decentralize your communications. Prevent Zoombombing: Change these 4 Zoom settings now for secure video chat.

It’s important to avoid “meeting stew” as you shift from in-person to virtual meetings. Just like you have meetings in the office that are tactical, administrative, strategic or team-building in nature, you’ll want to parse your Zoom meetings into clearer context. Here is an excellent article in Harvard Business Review titled, How to Keep Your Team Motivated, Remotely.

Here are some other ways to avoid Zoom meeting stew:

  • 10-minute morning check-ins
  • 10-minute end-of-day check-outs
  • Strategy Execution meeting to form your temporary rallying cry and 3-5 key objectives
  • Weekly tactical meetings
  • Open CEO Zoom for anyone to drop in for a half-day [like an open door policy]
  • Virtual Happy Hours and Team builders [laughter is a great stress reducer!]

Question: What are you doing now to build trust, focus, and communicate as a leader?


Driven by the premise that excellence is the result of aligning people, purpose and performance, Center for Executive Excellence facilitates training in leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. To learn more, subscribe to receive CEE News!



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