One of the things that I really want to talk about is what it really means to be the best place to work. This is controversial. You can decide for yourself whether you agree or disagree.
I’ve been reading the news and seeing Delta Airlines cancelling 70% of their flights. They moved 10,000 of their people to unpaid leave. You’re thinking, is that really the best place to work? Now this is a company that needs to be bailed out, but prior to this was buying back their own stock so they don’t have cash liquidity. Rather than putting up their own assets like their planes as collateral, they’re requiring a bailout.
We fly a lot on Delta, and maybe I’ll get my Medallion Status revoked for saying this — but I look at that and say, “That’s not a best place to work” even though they may have won the Best Places to Work award year over year.
I think we’re going to see a big cultural shift, because this is truly a defining moment
There are organizations that may have won these awards, but you see how their leadership behaves in really challenging times and wonder if it’s true.
For me, I look at this as this is a very important time for you as a leader to take care of your team.
Just as you’re confused, they’re confused too — and they’re looking for guidance and clarity and leaders.
I mentioned in a video I did earlier, this is really a time to step up and truly lead.
I understand this is a challenging time. Cashflow is tight. We’re all working remotely. That is tough on any business, but I truly believe that it’s important as a leader to take care of your team. It is your duty.
If someone’s underperforming, they’re not doing their job, or they’re not executing — then you need to cut dead weight. But if someone is performing in their role, they’re executing at a high level, and they were performing and then this hit — I believe it’s your duty to find a way to be able to keep them, to be able to support them — whether that’s moving them into a new role, whether that’s having them work on other efforts and other initiatives, whatever that might be.
But I do think it would be a mistake to let go of really, really great people right now because you’re looking to cut costs.
As a leader, this is a time to be very innovative and creative.
In times like these, there are no defined roles. It’s whatever the business needs. It’s wherever that they can offer support.
I believe that this is a call to greatness, and your team can step up as well. Just as this is a defining moment for leaders, I think this is a defining moment for team members as well. You can really find out what team members are made of, and the best ones are going to rally and step up and support. When you look back on it someday, this could be a success story, an opportunity to just work together and collaborate at a higher level.
Yesterday we did a dial-in with almost 200 law firm owners from across the country, some of the fastest-growing firms, and one of the things I wanted to share was some of the questions that were discussed.
What are the biggest mistakes that you can make right now, in moments like these?
The first one is just any type of panic. If you’re making decisions based on panic and fear, you have got to center yourself to approach things with clarity.
The other thing is just abandoning your long term vision for the business in favor of impulsive decisions. That’s a huge mistake. This goes along the lines of making personnel decisions like laying off 50% of your team or more just based on assumptions without considering the long term implications of that.
We will get through this and we will recover from this — but what happens to all those people that you’re letting go? What are they going to do during this time? You can save your own ass, but what about them?
I think true leaders look for ways to be able to help and support their teams. It’s your duty to take care of them.
I think the biggest mistake you can make during this time is just failing to innovate and failing to be flexible. If you fail to do those two things, that will cripple your business.
The landscape is changing. Not to sound insensitive in saying this, but it is leveling the playing field in that there’s not a business, outside of perhaps Zoom conferencing, that is not also experiencing similar challenges.
We’re all working remotely. We’re all quarantined. The courts are closed for everybody. The challenges of interfacing with clients and interfacing with team members is a challenge right now for everybody.
The most strategic and creative leaders are going to find a way to step up.
To be honest, it could be a great opportunity to separate people. I’ve said that setbacks sort people, and in moments like these, you’ll be able to determine between leaders and team members, business owners, everyone alike, what side of the ball they fall on.
It’s a defining moment for you, for your team, anybody in your organization.
I’ll close out with a quote actually by Anthony Johnson who’s an attorney out of Arkansas. He shared that, “Even through rocky roads and even though there’s going to be rocky roads ahead, solidarity as an industry will be our saving grace or reason for failure.”
This is a great time to really lean on the community, which includes committed and engaged business owners and law firm owners, ones that you know are approaching things proactively and optimistically.
I’ll leave you with this because it’s been our prevailing theme for the year and it’s never been more relevant than now: you’ve really got to elevate. You’ve got to elevate your business and your life, and I challenge you now.
This is your call to greatness.
If there’s anything you need, please text me anytime at 404-531-7691.