Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on businesses as we once knew them. The way we operate now is far different than we did in the past. The constant fear of what might happen and the stress created for us as business leaders are no joke. We are challenged to lead through stress and to inspire others when we are challenged ourselves. The fear of an employee getting sick is what keeps me up at night. I value my employees and worry about their welfare and the wellness of their families and loved ones. While this is a challenge I embrace, it makes me despondent, anxious, and just plain scared at times.
Many businesses made the crucial decision to send their employees home to work for the foreseeable future. This has created empty spaces where people worked, learned, worshiped, and dined as well as reduced the footprint of facilities services needs in the marketplace. These empty spaces have decreased our opportunities for growth and expansion. As a result, I have shifted my company’s attention to focus on stakeholders’ safety and security. Opening up and keeping two schools, a regional health center, a local bank with multiple locations, and a call center that operates twelve hours a day with hundreds of employees safe have tested our resolve. We are flattening the curve and doing our part to sustain lives and lifestyles.
The rise in coronavirus cases have shut down many local economies. In addition, entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and employees have seen how fragile everything they have built have been transformed almost overnight. I am convinced that we will get through the crisis. However, we must all do our parts as leaders to be the face of calm and inspiration to our teams. Although I feel anxious at times, I have learned to lead with authority and strength as well as inspire and motivate my team in the process. I realized that stress has a purpose as it may protect us from a larger problem by forcing us to be conscientious and purposeful. I also recognize that my speed as a leader will be the speed of my team. Our behaviors as leaders have a trickle-down effect to our teams. Now that our industry is paddling rough waters, what our teams need more than ever is focus. If we show signs of panic or fear, we will not keep our teams on-point.
It is essential for us to show confidence and a collected demeanor in front of our teams, regardless of the emotions flowing through our veins. We must direct the focus away from fear to the task of keeping our businesses operating at maximum productivity and efficiency. The fear of what might happen leads us to become anxious. Sometimes that fear is rational and sometimes it is not. As leaders, we cannot allow stress to inhibit our abilities to provide sound direction for our teams. The good news is, I strongly believe that we were made for this moment. This time is transforming me as a leader and creating tremendous growth for me personally. It is allowing me to plan and react quickly to combat unforeseen circumstances that could inhibit the value we deliver to our clients. I am becoming much more comfortable with uncomfortable feelings and I am feeling more motivated to make my team more resourceful, productive, and creative. It has broken down barriers and is creating new and meaningful bonds. As bad and as challenging as things have been, I am grateful for the opportunity to deliver maximum value to our clients.
Written by: Spencer Moore, President & CEO of Transcend Facility Management Company