..it was the winter of despair.
This is probably one of the most difficult times to manage effectively in recent history. Supply chains are chaotic, much of the work force is in quarantined or about to be quarantined; there are more resignations and loss of knowledge than in the past and doing even easy tasks is much much harder than ever.
I have been very lucky to be blessed with more work than ever. It appears that expertise and experience now count for something.
Over the past year, I have focused my work with managers on a very few and focused messages-and I want to share them with my readers.
1) Frequent changes of direction are often necessary… yet the more changes in the message, the less the folks will trust you or your messages. So ensure that messages are over-communicated.
2) “I don’t know” is a real answer, a legitimate answer and probably the fairest answer you can provide in many situations.
3) Manage your managers aggressively, so that they don’t force you to drive your people into the ground with unachievable goals in tough times. Show appreciation when people do what they can, even if it is not enough.
4) Avoid sloganeering at all costs. Slogans don’t make much sense in regular times, but in difficult times, use of slogans (like “develop customer intimacy) make you look absurd.
5) Don’t idealize tragedies. Working from home is a bitter necessity; not a religion. There is very little positive that comes from #wfh with 4 kids at home, lack of infrastructure, and Zoom fatigue. Tell it like it is, and don’t perfume the pig. (Thanks Sherry)