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Empire Building Episode Recap: Leading During a Crisis

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Empire Builders Leading

Seychelle Van Poole is back again with fellow Empire Builders Vija Williams, Sarah Reynolds, and Wendy Papasan to help leaders plan, make decisions, act, and pivot without losing sight of their long term goals.

Let’s jump into the discussion by talking through some key points of leadership: 

  • Framework for planning,
  • Creating a system to make the right decisions
  • Prioritizing what you have control over 

As a leader you have figure out what needs to be fixed first. Ask yourself, as the captain of your ship, “Where are the leaks that we have to plug so the ship doesn’t sink?”

Start by looking at what you’re already doing. On a day-to-day basis, you need to set goals to accomplish for the betterment of your business, your team, and their families. If you have Tuesday decisions to make, make them on Tuesday, not on Thursday.

While keeping your long term goal in mind, start a 30 day goal plan and win on a daily basis! Continually ask yourself, “What can I control?” When outside factors cannot be controlled — like in a crisis — it’s important to maintain focus on what you can control. 

Leading in communication is also a key point in creating a good system to ensure you are making the right decisions. This will require the voices and opinions of your trusted advisors and team members before taking action. Sometimes the softer voices can be the best solutions, and gathering opinions from others may open your eyes to new solutions you may have never thought of.

For our small business owners, your small group of partners and employees will still be a good reference tool for gathering ideas. This is also a great opportunity to acquire more trusted advisors. Whether this be through a Facebook group, organization, or in your personal life, we are all in a similar spot within this pandemic. 

Finally, it’s important that as a leader that you are being honest and upfront with yourself. Facing reality will help you efficiently make decisions. 

Fact versus Emotion in decision making.

The emotion you might be feeling right now is, “Oh my gosh, I can’t do anything.” The fact is we are still doing business — just differently. The fact is that you have to be different to continue doing business going forward. Emotions may tell you otherwise, but the fact stays the same. The market does not determine IF we are successful — it will help determine HOW we are successful. 

Mark Cuban once said, “Perfection is the enemy of success. You don’t need to be perfect, because nobody is.” 

Once you have the plan for how you are making your decisions, you can start to act. Right now, leading by saying and doing something is better than being silent and doing nothing. A leader is someone who acts on something they see, not necessarily the person that comes up with the idea. 

Furthermore, as leaders we have to bring our team along and have continuous discussions on what is working, and what can we change to do better. Communicate that even though it is Tuesday, we may have to pivot and change on Thursday. Flexibility and agility are key, and we need to be able to course correct quickly. 

As an example, perhaps you are running virtual customer consultations and tracking how many actually show up. If this show rate is not acceptable, pivot, and do so quickly. Perhaps the next idea is to offer on-demand  consultations instead of having someone try to fit you into their day. Take what you learn from each experience, and build your process into something that works for your business. 

What do you want the end of this crisis to be the beginning of?

Many great companies started within a recession; Walt Disney, General Electric, Venmo, Groupon and Instagram. We have seen how they have grown to be so successful despite the environment around them. Now is the time to reinvent your business for the times we are in. There is always risk in any opportunity, but as entrepreneurs you have to see the opportunity, weigh the risk, and take action. During the last recession, Keller Williams came in as #4 and we have emerged as #1. Even though others may give up and quit, the business is still there. So stick around, pivot, and look at opportunity to emerge on the other side as a better version of your business and yourself. 

To hear more from these talented Empire Builders, download the Empire Building podcast today through your podcast app or by visiting https://go.kw.com/empire-building.

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