Leading Through Uncertainty

While COVID-19 is new and its path unknowable… this may very well be a good time to take stock. It’s likely you’ve seen your way through troubling times before.

As leaders, we have responsibilities to many stakeholders and want to make the right decisions for them. But maybe it’s about questions more than it’s about answers.

Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself, “How do I want to respond?”

While many are rightfully concerned and worried, ask, “Is there something more or different I can be?”

When we look back at this time and reflect, consider, “How will I have contributed? There’s so much outside of my control.”

“How can I have a meaningful impact?”

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We believe there is an opportunity here to showcase your humanity and build loyalty and trust. These dimensions can eclipse the cost incurred from crisis. You are in command of not just a company but of a community, and if you can bring that community together in service, it’s likely the power of their actions on behalf of others will build long-lasting character and new levels of commitment. We applaud those companies who are leveraging their reach to provide reassurance within their ecosystems.

Here’s what we believe makes the most sense: choose to be kind and build character through your words and deeds; and be consistent during these challenging times.

Over the years, we’ve asked many executives, “How do you lead when business isn’t going well and markets are challenging?” We’ve received many compelling responses. Some were inspirational, some touching, others thought-provoking. There are too many to list, but here are some words of wisdom from one of those executives:

“Leadership is integrity and honesty. If you are upfront with people during difficult times, they will dig in and work harder. All you have to do is be authentic in showing them the path and steps to get out from underneath the tough times and turn challenge into opportunity.”

Erica Smith

Erica Smith

Erica Smith is Managing Director of ExecuNet's Career Strategy Group. Erica provides strategic guidance and coaching to help ExecuNet Members land their next opportunity. This includes uncovering their unique personal value proposition and defining competitive differentiators to advance their careers. This also includes providing detailed feedback for improving a member's personal marketing collateral—well beyond their resume.

Having held executive-level positions in companies representing multiple industries, the federal government and within respected consulting companies, she brings a unique perspective for executives. Erica’s depth of expertise of optimizing change and transitions for complex organizations and high-performing leaders has been gained through designing solutions with clients from Fortune 50 companies to entrepreneurial organizations. These include Technology, Telecommunications, Pharmaceuticals, Aerospace, Banking, Government (e.g. NASA and Homeland Security), Energy and Utilities, Marketing, eCommerce and Consulting firms.

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