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How do you plan to lead your team out of the pandemic?

April 30, 2021


Let’s face it, most of us were flying by the seat of our pants in 2020, especially early on. The past 12 months have been a mentally and physically draining time for most of us, even if things have gone relatively well.

The silver lining in all of this is that we really learned what we were made of in our businesses. We learned what our culture was and whether or not it was strong enough to endure through a little bit of separation. We learned a lot about our internal stakeholders and how much they really care about our clients and the people we serve. We were forced to be innovative and adopt new technology. But that was last year, what’s coming next? How are you planning to lead your team post-pandemic?

The pandemic certainly shone a light on our strengths as leaders, but it also forced us to look in the mirror and see our weaknesses. We all hope that this pandemic will end in the next 12 months and so now is the time to start looking at what the next phase for your team looks like.

Take the time to care

In the past year we have all run our people to the max in an effort to ensure our clients were being served exceptionally well. But that eventually takes its toll on our people. In order to lead effectively we not only need to be mindful of this fact but we have to care about them as a whole person.

I started my career in this industry at BMO Nesbitt Burns here in Winnipeg. Every morning, the managing director for our office would walk around and take time to chat with most people there, asking how their night was, how their family is doing etc. There were two things about those conversations that I will always remember. One, he took the time to chat with every employee no matter what role they played (including myself… a lowly cold caller!) and two, that he remembered previous conversations we had. He remembered the details of things going on in our lives. I know today that he did this purposely, so that he could develop better connections in the office. No matter the reason, it showed that he cared enough to take the time. Take the time, it’s well worth it.

Communicate your plan clearly

First of all, it starts with having a plan. What is your business going to look like five years from now? Where do you want it to be? What role does each of your employees play in that plan? What role would they like to play?

Being a good leader means being a good communicator. In order to achieve a high rate of execution, you need to be able to clearly articulate your plan for the future, your vision, your dreams. I recently read the book Traction by Gino Wickman. This book can serve as a great guide on how to set your targets as well as provide suggestions on how you can utilize your team in the best way possible to execute. I will admit, this book isn’t for everyone but if you are feeling stuck and looking for solutions on how to start, I think it will give you some ideas to get you out of the gate.

My recommendation, it starts with vision. From there, break it down in to meaningful action items on a shorter-term basis. Communicate your plan to your team and meet with the appropriate staff regularly to ensure you are on track. Remember, “Your playing small does not serve the world” so dream as big as you want to.

Take a pause

One of the most valuable things you can do is take time to reflect on where you have been, where you want to go and new ideas on how you will get there. It would be well worth your while to give yourself a break and take some time to reflect. Do the same for your staff. So many people are reaching burnout levels because they are not taking their holidays simply because they cannot travel. Keep your eye on this and encourage your team to take time for themselves. Lead by example as well. Not only will this serve your mission, but it will ensure your team is fresh and ready to go for whatever you have in store.

The future is coming quickly. We will emerge from this pandemic and the opportunity is there for you to emerge stronger and better than ever. Always keep in mind that complacency keeps so many of us from achieving our true potential. Now is the time to start.

Grant White is a Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor at Endeavour Wealth Management with iA Private Wealth, an award-winning office as recognized by the Carson Group. Together with his partners he provides comprehensive wealth management planning for business owners, professionals and individual families.

This information has been prepared by Grant White who is a Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor for iA Private Wealth. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the Portfolio Manager/Investment Advisor only and do not necessarily reflect those of iA Private Wealth. iA Private Wealth is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada.

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