If you don’t approach this crisis as an opportunity to be seized or a challenge to be overcome, you’ll be giving yourself even more of a handicap. I’ve previously written that the most popular person is the one who responds to a challenge with ‘I got it.’ Ensure that person is you. If you must cry/stress/freak out, let it be done in private; when you’re in public view, shine with confidence.
2. Work really hard
This is not a time to slack off or be resigned to a particular fate. It’s the time to ask other team members or your boss if you can help and/or to take on new responsibilities. Perhaps it’s a matter of returning to doing things you haven’t done in 5, 10, or 20 years. Whatever it takes!
3. Think strategically
Do you know what your CEO is worried about in the short term? Revenue, Profit, and Cash on Hand. Revenue is a measure of how your customers judge what you’re doing; it validates your actions by your customers’ continued spending. Profit is a determination as to whether those actions are being executed in a viable way, and it offers insight that feeds short- and long-term cost/benefit analysis by managing cost controls. Cash on hand represents the funds you have to pay today’s bills.
Most of your CEO’s decisions involve choices about how these three things look – both now and projecting into the future. Make sure you align yourself with these goals. Find ways to become more of a contributor. Come up with revenue ideas, cut expenses, or assist in collecting the money that’s due to the business. Endeavor to make your costs (salary and benefits) viewed as an investment in the solution.
4. Learn new skills
Almost everyone has pivoted to digital events at some level. Do you have the skillset to succeed in the digital realm? Or, if not, can you assist those who are taking on these digital roles by assuming more of the traditional responsibilities (e.g. sales, collections, etc.) so that the digital professionals are not encumbered? What else can you do to help you get your company through?
5. Don’t say no
If your boss asks you to do something, it’s because she needs it done. Don’t put yourself in the ‘problem’ category by saying “no”. Roll up your sleeves.
6. Learn how to deal in a crisis
The atmosphere of this new world is unsettling, if not terrifying. Figure out how not to become paralyzed by this atmosphere and strive to create confidence and certainty for your customers, colleagues, and superiors. The skills you develop in this regard will pay off now and in the future and will make you promotable.
7. Start with a blank piece of paper
Do you have your own ideas of how to save your company? Can you write a one page strategic/tactical document to get it done? You have assets that can be applied to the current situation, even if it’s to be done in new, different ways. By doing so you will become almost irreplaceable.
8. Know how to cut expenses and make money
This goes to the point #3 made earlier. The last people to get laid off from a company are those who can sell or otherwise create revenue. Figure out how and you’ll be golden. If not a source for new revenue – thereby impacting the top line – find ways to work as effectively with fewer resources, perhaps taking on a larger share of responsibility yourself and increasing the bottom line.
9. Encourage others authentically
Don’t speak as much as you act. When you do speak, use fewer words and ensure you are walking your talk. Encourage others, making sure it comes from the heart. Everyone has skills and achievements. Highlight those assets as a means of helping people go that extra mile.
10. Get enough sleep, good food, and exercise
Work harder, but take the steps needed to eat well, sleep, and exercise. Make sure you ‘sharpen the saw’, especially on weekends.
If you do all this to no avail, and you lose your job anyway, don’t despair for long. Update your resume with all the skills you’ve developed, and smile and start again. I am sure you can create a story that will be as compelling as if you had not left, and it will be the foundation for the advancement of your career.
Give it your best shot…..