Leader’s guide to making great decisions during a pandemic
How do you make great decisions in a state of total uncertainty? Important decisions for yourself, your family, your employees, your company and your investors, all on the same day! This may be the greatest leadership challenge of your life.
Allow me to share what has been working for my CEO clients and what DIDN’T work for me.
I’m ashamed to admit that I came a bit unglued yesterday. Looking back, I can see that fear hijacked my thinking. What bothers me most about what happened is this.
While it was happening, I had no idea. I thought I was on my game! But really, my thinking, decisions, and actions were distorted by fear. Fear that I didn’t realize I was experiencing.
That scares me.
Luckily the only downside was overbuying food on a Sunday afternoon and insulting my father. (Sorry dad!)
As an executive coach to CEO’s, it’s my job to be on my A-game! If this happened to me, it could happen to you.
I wrote this best practice guide based on what’s working for my clients and what I learned not to do. If only I had written this two days ago! Truth is, I couldn’t have written it without yesterday’s experience. Viva paradox!
#1 Limit your news and virus research intake! Nothing will distort your thinking as much as a news binge. One hour spread across an entire day is enough to grok what you really need to know. Set specific times Resist the urge to look
#2 Pick three people who think differently than you and sanity check all your big decisions with them. I am getting calls from clients asking “Hey Michael, what do you think about this, am I being paranoid?” Now that’s smart.
#3 Decide here and now that you CAN NOT BE SURE what will happen. You DO NOT have a crystal ball. Even the experts are not sure and the internet will not make you an expert. If you are feeling SURE, that’s a sign that you are under the influence of fear. Fear craves certainty so it will create it. Apply rule #1 & #2 immediately.
#4 Calibrate for fear distortion. Whatever you decide is the worst-case scenario for a given situation, reduce it by 10-20%.
#5 Don’t share information unless it has been validated by a news source you trust.It could be fake like that text about the lockdown. Spreading fake news is embarrassing. I know. I have done it twice since the crisis started and I don’t like admitting that.
#6 Maintain your daily wellness practices. Exercise, meditation, break dancing, whatever gets you out of your head and into your body. Do it more than once a day. Use this time as an opportunity to connect with nature and spirit. You need to be more YOU than ever. Your followers need YOU, not your fears. Do what it takes.
#7 Choose entertainment that takes your mind off of what’s happening. Stand up comedy, romantic comedies, movie classics. By all means, don’t watch Contagion or anything else that might feed your fears. Fear seeks food so it will want you to do what feeds it. Resist!
The fact that you have earned the position you have means that you have what it takes to lead through this. I hope these guidelines help keep you and I on our A-game.