Crisis brings out the very best and worst in people. Everyone’s fears and strengths are amplified and on display. As we start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we shift from crisis management to recovery mode. 

This is the time real leaders rise to the top and showcase their natural abilities. Recovery mode is where hope comes back into focus, and we need to re-engage our team in the process of rebuilding. There are four key elements in practical recovery leadership. 

1. Conviction

First, is your conviction to getting your business and your core team through recovery. Conviction starts in your mental space. As the leader, you are the one who is going to cast vision and distribute hope. 

A successful recovery is going to take work and lots of it. You must believe, to your core, this road will not be easy, but it will be worth it. You can honor and acknowledge the loss, mourn for it if you need too. But then, put it behind you, and get back in the game, and do so to win.

2. Strategy

Next, is having a solid recovery strategy. Efficiency and effectiveness are the by-products of what is left after the natural purging that happens when we go through struggle. 

We have done the necessary cuts and evaluations. What’s left are the things that have the highest ROI. Build your strategic plan for the next 18 months using your very best tools and talent. 

Be hyper-focused on every dollar, every hour and every team member bringing their best as you rebuild. If you want samples of what this looks like, shoot me a message, and I am happy to share some with you.

3. Mindset

Third, is an investment-minded budget for recovery. Growth requires you to spend strategically. There is a balance between controlling cash flow and investing. 

Remember, every dollar counts. For every single dollar that you spend, it’s necessary to expect a return. Those who lead in investment will be the ones who benefit he greatest as the market comes back online. 

Don’t forget, keep surplus cash and credit on hand. Bumps along the way will happen, and recoveries usually take longer and cost more than models predict.

4. Execution

Last, your success rises or falls on your ability to execute. Implementation is everything. Now is the time to go to work. You know what to do. You know what you need to have your team doing. 

Right now, you have the greatest opportunity for market share growth in your lifetime. Potential is not your friend. Procrastination is your enemy. Now is the time to do and put things in motion. 

Successful recovery from a crisis is a burst of well-placed action over the next few months. For every week of lockdown, it’s going to take you a month of strategic recovery.

The four key elements of leadership in crisis recovery can be seen in any successful recovery. From hurricanes, winter storms, wars or biological threats they are relevant. 

In the aftermath of crisis, conviction of the leader, a solid recovery strategy, an investment-minded budget and ability to execute are critical. These are applicable across business sectors, regions and timeframes. 

As the embers of the fires of crisis continue to glow, the best leaders are already in the process of rebuilding to be bigger and better to weather the storms of tomorrow.   

Chris Pollinger, partner, Berman & Pollinger, LLC is a senior sales and operational executive skilled in strategic leadership, culture building, business planning, sales, marketing, acquisitions, operations, recruiting, and team building. 

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