The New Normal
Embracing change and embodying leadership in times of uncertainty
Les McPhearson, Dean and Prevea360 Health Plan President
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, our lives and businesses are going through an unprecedented time and experiencing extraordinary adversity. Many businesses and segments of the economy were shut down, and only over the past few weeks have we seen businesses re-open in a phased approach.
With record unemployment, the tragic loss of many lives and civil unrest now is a challenging time to be a leader. It is also an extremely important time to be a leader – in your community, for your business and for your family.
Over the past two months, as a community leader, you’ve probably taken many important steps to determine what your and your clients' future may look like. Together you’ve decided what steps need to be taken to preserve your clients’ business and their employees. You’ve been communicating with your clients, colleagues and communities. You’ve also probably worked to assist in implementing health protocols, social distancing, working remotely and more.
In times of great adversity, leaders should also revisit the fundamentals of their business and how they can help their client’s business. Each economic downturn is unique, however now is a good time to position your business, engage your clients and plan for the future.
First, get back to basics and think about your goals and your mission. Should they remain the same? Make sure they are aligned not only within your organization and clients, but what you see as the world moves forward in a new way. Think about who you serve and how you serve them. Can you serve your clients in the same way as before? Think about what is important to them and think about how to measure success moving forward.
Next, engage your clients and consistently communicate with them. This is a time of great uncertainty not only for your business but for your clients and your community. While you are focusing on the future and keeping up with change in the marketplace, your clients are focusing on their business, their employees are focusing on their families, homes and livelihoods.
Be transparent. Your clients are looking for honesty and leadership. While times are uncertain now, the future can be bright, but only if you walk through this journey together. There needs to be a center point of communication, and that is you. By being open, honest and consistent, you create stability.
Work with your colleagues and clients to establish what short and long-term goals look like for member engagement, office operations and health care needs.
Last, envision what the future might hold. As a leader, you are focused on people and metrics. Daily you are focused on your business fundamentals. You’re inquiring if your clients will re-open and how. What are their insurance needs? You’re also looking to the future to forecast your success and how to continually be successful in this new world.
Your focus needs to be on what will happen and only thinking about what has happened. Learn from this moment. Winston Churchill famously quoted George Santayana saying, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. Move forward and build a better tomorrow. As Zig Ziegler said, “when you focus on problems, you get more problems. When you focus on possibilities, you have more opportunities.”
Get back to basics, engage your colleagues and clients, be open and honest. Last look toward the future. Look for opportunities and guide your business toward success.
Source: Chief Executive Group, LLC