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The real test of leadership is not when everything is going smoothly, but when a crisis occurs. During this time of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), you have the opportunity to acknowledge responsibility, take ownership, and enact change. How you perform during a crisis establishes your credentials as a leader. Because each situation is unique and requires a different approach, there is no manual for guidance. However, there are actions you can take to tackle the crisis head-on and minimize the effects as much as possible.

Implement these ongoing methods to demonstrate leadership while navigating COVID-19.

1. Frequently Communicate

As a leader, remain in constant communication with everyone from your company. This includes employees, partners, board members, customers, and investors. Provide regular updates on COVID-19 from https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html and other reputable sources. Let everyone know what the next steps are for individuals and the company to continue business operations. Provide opportunities to talk individually or in groups about what people are experiencing. Alleviate fears, doubt, and uncertainty as much as possible. Remind your team that everyone’s health and safety is your top priority.

2. Project Confidence

As a leader, employees are looking to you for reassurance. They need to know what the next step is and how to navigate through uncertainty. The behavior you model is what others will replicate. Demonstrate understanding of the situation and steps to move forward. Show you can be relied on to guide staff through uncharted territory. Let them know you’ve got their backs and will do anything in your power to help them through the turbulence. Be honest about not having all the answers right now but providing them as soon as you can.

3. Make Fast Decisions

As a leader, you have to make hard decisions in a short amount of time. As difficult as it is to make choices without enough time or information to base them on, because of the rapidly evolving effects of COVID-19, the decisions you make affect the livelihood of employees. You must adapt your decisions to fit the situation, wait to see the results, and adjust course as needed. This pattern needs to continue as long as the crisis is active.

4. Model Positivity

As a leader, your words and actions need to project positivity. Maintain your game face until the worst of the crisis has passed. Employees need help focusing on security when the results of what’s happening are unclear. Let them know that you’re tacking the situation and finding ways to press on.  Remind staff that this will pass. Everyone will come out stronger than ever.

Lead Your Accounting & Finance Team Through a Crisis

If you’re an accounting and finance manager in Western Canada with team members who can’t work due to COVID-19, see how Mercer Bradley can help. We have temporary accounting and finance professionals with the skills and qualifications required to fill in as needed. Learn more today.


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