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Leadership In The Face of Crisis

Leadership In The Face of Crisis

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has taken the entire planet by storm. It is pandemic which is impacting all sectors and testing the ability of all entities – human beings and business entities alike, to survive. It is Darwinism at its best.

The financial markets have lost about 8 trillion dollars since a month ago and the economy is probably getting into a recession, debatable whether a short one or a long one. As the Federal Reserve works on an economic relief plan, and the Congress works on a bipartisan bill to elevate the pain of some of the most impacted, it is important that all businesses have a game plan to combat the crisis. There is both a demand side and supply side crunch for most industries, never seen before.

Business Agility

Never before in history, there has been both a supply and demand side crunch. The financial crisis of 2008 was primarily a demand side crunch which could be and was elevated by fiscal and monetary stimulus. With the 2020 Covid Crisis, not only there is a demand side crisis, there is also a supply side crunch with broken supply chains in spite of having dual sourcing strategies in place. This requires business leaders to be flexible with a tops down approach coupled with bottoms up flexibility at the grassroots level.


As managers and business leaders, it is more important than ever before to lead with compassion. Everyone around us including employees, partners, and customers struggle with changing working environments and on a personal level coping with tougher ‘at home’ scenarios which may potentially include ill health, and also kids, spouses all huddled in at home trying to be productive. As one tweet recently jokingly put it “Me and my spouse are now both working from home. If Corona virus does not kill us, one of us will”.

Many of our partners, who also tend to be small business owners who may have their own challenges and may be facing payroll crisis. So let’s be compassionate as business leaders as we get through this crisis together.


Angela Duckworth in her book GRIT  makes the case that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit”.  Getting through this crisis is a mental journey which requires grit. Being brutally truthful, some businesses may not survive. It’s a lot about mental fitness. As organizations huddle down, stay nimble, it is important for organizations to have perseverance while having the long term goal in mind. 

Go Digital

Though ‘demand’ may have come down for most sectors, but demand though muted still exists. As businesses, it is more important than ever, to engage with our customers and prospects via digital channels to continue to gain our unfair market share of the dollars being spent; and also ensure superior customer care via digital channels. It is imperative that we leverage digital tools for sales, marketing, and customer care to further drive customer intimacy and engage with them through their (customer) journey

Safeguard Your Data

Never before have organizations been so dispersed and everyone working remotely. My last mile high speed internet has never been more challenged with peak demands as kids and spouses logon digitally. As organizations work remotely and lack the ability to do ‘organizational in house tasks’ like tape data backup, it is important for businesses to safeguard their data. With BYOD, and enterprise data spread across on-premises and the cloud and across public clouds, it is important to have a single integrated strategy for protecting all your enterprise data. After-all the enterprise data is your crown jewels. It is imperative that we don’t lose sight of this ‘must do’ initiative, as we focus on being nimble and get through this unprecedented time.

Together we shall #BeatCOVID19 and succeed! 

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