Practice Management

3 Keys to Successful Leadership During Difficult Times

Roadmap showing the path to successful leadership during difficult times

For months now, COVID-19 has impacted businesses around the world with no definite end in sight. Businesses are closing, and firms are losing clients and revenue. Your firm may be considering downsizing or furloughing staff. You may be watching some of your best employees struggle to make the switch to remote work while navigating and adopting new digital processes and procedures. That is why now more then ever it is important to provide successful leadership during these difficult times.

A team’s morale can take a hit during times like this, and it’s your job as their leader or supervisor to reassure them while guiding them back on track to maintain productivity and ensure quality client service.

It is no easy task, as you may be struggling with the recent changes. Even if it feels as though things may be falling apart, you need to find and focus on the positives for the sake of the employees. Every firm has and will go through rough cycles and growing pains, but it is during these times your team needs a strong leader to help guide them through the storm.

Consider these three keys to navigate successful leadership during the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic:

Communication is key. Ensure communication about the firm’s situation is transparent. As a leader, your first reaction is to shield employees from anything negative going on with the business and not alarm them. Only focusing on the positives can be harmful. Be sure to explain what the firm is trying to prevent or overcome helps employees better understand the decision you make or the sacrifices you ask of them. It’s vital to be as open, honest, and transparent as possible while reassuring your team.

Share your vision for the future. As things change rapidly, sometimes daily, your team needs to know there is a vision and that you are adapting the company vision to work toward the new business goals. Being clear and communicating how the company plans to move forward will help your team weather the storm. Letting them know the new direction of the business to ensure the team fully understands where they are going so they can help get the firm there.

Look for the opportunities. While you focus not only on helping your team navigate the current climate of uncertainty, you must uphold team morale, maintain the firm’s culture and encourage productivity, most likely while managing all of it remotely. It is a fine balancing act, especially when you can’t conduct business as usual as easily, predict timelines or execute plans you previously were accustomed to rolling out.

Remember, adversity often brings incredible opportunity. Look for the opportunities in the current crisis and expand on them. Don’t pretend there isn’t a crisis, and don’t just look for remedies to try to fix it the crisis. Look for the opportunities these tough situations create. Look at the potential benefits, and see how you can grow, evolve adapt, and become stronger at providing successful leadership during these difficult times.

About Nicole Sterling

Nicole is the Director of Marketing & Communications for RSW Accounting + Consulting in Montréal, Quebec Canada. As a marketing professional with international marketing experience, she has knowledge in private, corporate, agency, non-profit, and association settings. Nicole has assisted companies and associations with marketing, communications, and business development activities for over 25 years. Nicole is currently responsible for the marketing operations, creation & development of relationships and opportunities with both clients and prospects, promoting and maintaining a firm-wide marketing culture, and managing & implementing market activities to develop the image of RSW & ROCG Montreal. She works directly with all of the firm’s niches to achieve the goals of the firm's long-term vision. Nicole has been an active Board member and volunteer in the Association for Accounting Marketing (AAM) for many years. She has served as a chair of the website, a member of AAM’s Technology, Partnership, and content taskforce. Nicole was named AAM’s 2017 Volunteer of the Year.

Welcome to CPA Growth Trends — your source for information, insights, tools and best practices to drive growth within an accounting firm.

Subscribe to our blog

* indicates required

This field is required.

Featured: Season 5 Episode 1

The Digital Lead Gen Process For Accounting Firms

with David Toth of Winding River Consulting

Explore expert strategies for digital marketing success with the latest insights on SEO, content strategy, lead generation and more.