When economic mayhem is threatened, headlines are dominated by news of layoffs and furloughs. So what is a CEO to do? Especially as the brave leader of a fledgling startup, how do you make the best decisions for your company?
Here are three rules:
Open communication: First and foremost, it is the job of every leader to communicate candidly and frequently with all stakeholders: employees, shareholders, customers, and partners. While this is important in good times, it becomes essential when things are uncertain. Honesty, compassion, and decisiveness are the most important qualities of successful communicators. Convey all bad news as you would have others convey it to you – with respect, compassion, and honesty.
Take care of your jewels: Protect your superstars by telling them about your belief in their abilities: that they are your heroes and in no jeopardy from any job cuts. Make your actions also reflect their importance – maybe seek their inputs on how to get over the current crisis. In business and in our personal lives, there is no such thing as saying “I love you” too often to the ones you cherish.
Hire! No, I am not crazy. Of course, this is assuming you have enough cash to last you 18 months or longer. If you are one of those lucky CEOs, survey your options: are there any vendors, partners, competitors, or anyone else you wished were part of your organization? Now is the time to recruit!
When everyone is worried about the upcoming apocalypse, this is when you could shine and stand out. Even with your employees.