Harness the power of hope
Leading through a recession needs focus, but don’t forget the importance of hope.
I launched my new business at the start of lockdown, so I’m familiar with the anxiety and fear this unprecedented chapter of our lives has caused. As we face at least six more months of covid-19 restrictions, for some it feels as though hope is in short supply. But it is something which I think leaders need to offer.
When lockdown first started, leaders were naturally focussed on the immediate practicalities of setting up wide-spread working from home. The last few months have seen a shift to dealing with the ‘new normal’ and gradually bringing workers back to the office. Again, for many the focus has been on practical things like how to ensure social distancing in the office. And now we know that we have at least six months of restrictions, with workers again being asked to work from home if they can.
Among your workforce, many people will be feeling anxious and confused and some may be fearful about the future. And that is where providing hope comes in.
This quote from Michelle Obama, sums up the power of hope:
“Don’t ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.”
Yes, you need to take care of the practical issues, but you also need to look ahead to the future and help your people feel motivated enough to get through the challenges the next few months will bring. You need to inspire your people with hope
Get in touch if you’d like help looking ahead
How to make your clients feel loved and other things
The first few months of my new business have been a whirlwind. Here are some of the projects that have been keeping me busy.
I’m took part in a webinar ‘How to make your clients feel loved’, along with well known consultant to the legal profession Viv Williams, Rachael Howourth from Momentum South West and Chris Longmuir of Fliplet. We covered strategy, leadership, business development and legal tech.
I’ve been working with IT support provider Bluegrass Group on a new offering for small to medium sized law firms to help them transition from the initial crisis management caused by the pandemic, to a more sustainable approach to IT. Watch out for more information on this in the coming days
Read my blog for Bluegrass on how covid-19 has been a catalyst for change in the legal sector at https://bluegrass-group.com/covid-the-catalyst-for-change-in-the-legal-sector/
Customer experience is going to be more important than ever as we face the uncertainty of the next few months. I’m part of the South West’s first Customer Experience Forum, along with Rhian Huxtable of Insight 6, super connector John Harvey, Guy Arnold, founder of Slow Selling, Tom Murphy, Life According to Murf and Anna Lake of Anna Lake Consulting. The group has been carrying out research into customer experience in the South West and will be sharing tips for getting this right.
Together with Mark Astley and Dan Prichard from Astley Media I’ve set up the Shape of Tomorrow Group, which brings together leaders from across the South West, from Bristol to Camborne. Covering sectors including manufacturing, higher education, further education, police, food and drink, IT and hospitality. I chaired the first meeting of the group and we look forward to sharing the thoughts and ideas of the group in the next few months.
I’ve also been mentoring a young business person who has started up an unregulated law firm.
I look forward to bringing you updates on these projects over the coming months.
Tips for leading through a recession
I became managing partner of South West law firm Stephens Scown LLP in the wake of the banking crash in 2009. I stepped down as managing partner in 2019 and in that time, I helped to transform the business, doubling its profits and turning it into one of the most innovative law firms in the country.
Here is what I learned leading a business through recession:
- Focus on the things you can influence and try not to worry about issues outside your control.
- Your people will be influenced most by how they see you responding personally, so try to stay positive and focus on the opportunities. Look forward, not back.
- If you need to make tough decisions, don’t procrastinate and follow them through.
- Always remember the importance of open and honest communication internally with your people, and externally with suppliers and customers.
- Keep an eye on the operational side, especially cash, but don’t forget to be strategic and look beyond the immediate crisis.
- Don’t just focus on telling people what is happening. But it is also important to explain why decisions are being made so that you bring your people with you.
Please contact me for more information about coaching, training, workshops and strategy sessions.