Reflections on leadership amid the COVID-19 outbreak Email
Written by Ben Fisk   
Tuesday, April 21, 2020 05:00 AM

Ben FiskLeading during normal, routine times is hard enough, but during a crisis, your leadership will be tested like never before. The myriad of decisions can overwhelm you. Do you stay open or do you close during the pandemic? Do you continue to hire or put a freeze on hiring? Do you run those estimates, or are they non-essential?

As a leader you won’t please everyone; get used to it. Are you trying to be popular, or are you trying to be effective? Business owner, designer, manager, foreman, you are a leader and you are called to lead with conviction, grit, and care. What's the best decision for your team and your customers?

As I lead Fisk Lawnscapes through this pandemic here are five practical things I’m doing:

  • Provide hope. Do you know what is more contagious than the coronavirus? Hope. Your perspective on the current events will shape what and how your team thinks and acts.
  • Stay engaged. With less face-to-face communication happening, look for new ways to connect with your team. We use the Crew App to allow for regular team communications. We utilize a "daily minute video" to talk about things going on in the company or to address safety.
  • Increase communications. How are your customers doing? Communicate with them and offer to serve them during this time. People will remember how you responded during times of crisis.
  • Demonstrate care. Have a sick team member? Check in with them and show them you care. Make sure your team knows their safety is important to you as their leader. To that end, we recently added a COVID-19 safety page to our handbook
  • Rest. How are you supposed to rest during this tumultuous time, you might ask? Unplug, turn off the phone and take a few hours to mentally recharge. A tired, crazed leader makes poor decisions. Drink a cup of coffee on the back deck, go for a run, or read a book. You’ll come back mentally stronger and ready to take on the challenges of leading well.

This outbreak will have an economic impact on each one of us and our businesses, but remember that some of the strongest companies are built during down economies. As leaders, we have an incredible opportunity before us, a chance to lead well while inspiring confidence and building hope. Don’t give in to fear. NOW is the time to rise up and be a leader.

Ben Fisk is the owner and founder of Fisk Lawnscapes, Colorado Springs. He currently serves on the ALCC board of directors.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Weisburg's people fueled two decades of success
NCLC holds virtual event after collegiate competition is canceled
Three opinion letters on FLSA released by DOL
EAB quarantine repealed