A time for leaders to emerge

Leaders emerge during tough times, so goes the saying. All businesses and economies are facing a tough enemy with a loaded gun ready to

Leaders emerge during tough times, so goes the saying. All businesses and economies are facing a tough enemy with a loaded gun ready to fire.

#covid19 is that enemy.

No time to negotiate. You must follow the enemy’s instructions else you perish. And the instruction is #socialdistancing to reduce many cases of people infected with the virus so as not to overwhelm the health systems. The stay at home and economy lockdown orders are aimed at reducing the spread.

But when will all this end and business resumes back to normal.

Only if the cure is found or the vaccine, whichever comes in earlier. This being a novel or new virus humanity has ever witnessed, it means the vaccine could take quite some time. We are talking about 10 – 18 months, assuming all testing is done. We are talking about the world getting back to normal a year or two from now.

I don’t want to sound too pessimistic. But this is the reality when it comes to the process of approving a new human vaccine or medicine.

The world needs leaders – folks that can work with pressure to come up with a working solution to this pandemic – a vaccine, intensive care facilities like air ventilators that are in high demand. On this, we thank our scientists and experts doing us proud. This is what leadership is all about -finding solutions to the present challenges, one solution at a time.

At any level – family or businesses, now than before, proactive leadership is needed.

a) Companies are not making money. The challenge is, where to raise money to pay bills like rent and salaries? Leaders must wake up to this reality. Just waiting and seeing is not enough. You must anticipate the challenges and do something about it. What are you doing to manage such a problem?
b) How can staff work from home without commuting to the office? Leaders in the company should have come up with a simple and low cost or free solution to address this problem. That is leadership – identifying a challenge and communicating the solution to all concerned. Senior management wants solutions that leverage from existing resources and capabilities
c) Positive energy – leaders look at the opportunities of the new developments. Covid19 is a new development. What opportunities for the company do you see? Can you write them down in the form of a paper and share it to the management?
d) Embracing remote working – this is a time for self-initiative. Which staff are useful during this crisis? What products and services are ideal for your kind of business and who is championing them? Any staff complaining about poor internet, or lack of resources is not a leader. Leaders are problem solvers. They generate practical ideas. Followers, on the other hand, lack self-starters – they wait for ideas of others to act. Without being reminded or challenged, followers will just sit and wait. Yet the problem is real.

This is your opportunity to shine. Find something you can do and start doing it. If you fail to find it, know that you are a follower. And this kind of time hates people who wait and see.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, 2020. All rights reserved.

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