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Post-COVID-19, Reimagining Leadership Resiliency Part 4: Transparency

Time For Transparent Leadership

Business leaders are having to learn and develop a whole new set of skills to deal with the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 era. 

The paper I have written for Mythos Group explores four key areas for building leadership resiliency during this time, skills that will be required in whatever the new normal looks like on the other side:

1. Positive mindset
2. Build trust
3. Manage fear
4. Transparency

In this time of flux, how transparently business leaders communicate with their employees, shareholders, customers, and the communities they serve will have a direct impact on how their organization is perceived now, and in the future. 

This pandemic and the associated chaos pose a true test for business leaders and their communication abilities – as they are expected to provide clear and accurate information to not only help employees understand the current situation but also to address their emotional needs.  

So, how should leaders communicate? 

Communicate Early and Often: To convey crucial information to their employees, leaders need to frame their messages to be clear, simple, actionable. Leaders should communicate their key messages early and often – frequency matters. Leaders should establish a communication cadence and repeat the same message frequently using various communication channels such as emails, virtual town hall meetings, social media platforms, etc. for stickiness.  

Drown Out the White Noise: Any crisis provides an opportunity for the veracity and accuracy of the information shared to be diluted. From a leadership perspective, it becomes imperative to drown out this “white noise” and distill meaning from chaos. Leaders need to proactively provide accurate and timely information regarding what is happening, what the impact is, how the organization is handling it, and offer clear guidance on what is expected from their employees. 

Convey Authenticity: Leaders must communicate authentically rather than appearing to be scripted. Trust is never more important than in a crisis. To lead more effectively and build loyalty, leaders are expected to focus on the facts, maintain transparency, stay true to their values and beliefs, “walk the talk” and keep their promises. 

Acknowledge Uncertainty and Errors: Transparency is vitally important in times of high uncertainty. Leaders are often forced to make time-sensitive decisions and communicate on the fly before all of the facts or their implications are known. If an organization has made an error in the form of a miscommunication or a poor decision, it needs to acknowledge it, articulate what is being done to fix it – and move past it. 

Leadership Post-Pandemic: While the stakes are undoubtedly high, there is nevertheless an opportunity for organizations to reimagine their business, keeping the safety of their employees, customers, and partners as a top priority. By leveraging a positive mindset, building trust, managing fears, and establishing a transparent culture, a business leader can guide their organization through turbulent times – and beyond. 

Mythos Group’s white paper, Post-COVID-19, Reimagining Leadership Resiliency, contains more detail on this and other recommendations, and is available to download for free from Papers.


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