The impacts of COVID-19 challenged most leaders to take a strategic pause and re-asses the game plan. Here, 9 c-suite leaders share their biggest takeaways and best coaching advice to energize teams and make meaningful progress.
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9 business leaders share their best advice for coaching teams and strategizing business plays for success in 2021.
“I’d wager that no company has intentionally ‘left’ the game. Companies, including Google, are thinking more about how we can ‘up our game’ and specifically harness this situation in such a way to not just maintain, but improve — how we work together, and ultimately how we perform as a business.”
Kelly Waldher, VP of Marketing for G Suite, Google
“Business is moving fast, especially the digital aspects — be careful not to delay projects and get behind your competition. Ensure your team is focused on being productive vs being busy. And in this environment especially, it’s critical to recognize your teammates.”
Ken Lamneck, President & CEO of Insight
“Whatever your approach, the most important thing is to lead by example. This is an uncertain time for all, and you need bring your team with you. Whether it’s new ways of working, or adopting new technologies, the team will be much happier to follow if they see you are willing to show the way.”
Emma DeSousa, SVP of Marketing, Insight UK & EMEA
“Continue to plan and act globally on a strategic basis — but reorganize your team to engage with clients in as local of a manner as possible. Have local execs in a region cover client meetings versus traveling in and reframe your client touches with a sense of geographic community versus ‘airlifted in’ demographic expertise. There is time and space for both to occur, but we’re seeing results from a local first engagement approach.”
Stephen Moss, VP Mid-Market Sales & Delivery, Insight
“For sure IT has to enable connectivity and security or everything fails, but what I worry about is productivity. I challenge people to look at calendar daily and weekly for what is needed vs what is scheduled. Make sure you create ‘think’ time.”
John Dathan, SVP General Manager, Insight Canada
“The new world of increasingly virtual work can be exhausting, so the most impactful thing leaders can do is lead with energy. Focus on shorter, sharper and more frequent interactions with teammates and clients with strong preparation of punchy material and delivery.”
Mike Morgan, VP & Managing Director, Insight APAC
“Take advantage of the incredible opportunity to leverage this moment. Cybersecurity, omnichannel and an increase in digital customer journeys, hybrid working arrangements, supply chain resilience — these are all massive trends impacting most industries. Use this disruption as a chance to develop a bold business strategy and use tech to make that strategy a reality.”
Christoph Schell, Chief Commercial Officer, HP Inc
“For us, we literally flipped our business model upside down and shifted every direction we possibly could. We went from being in-taproom only to take out and delivery only supported by online sales. We’ve also chosen to invest in a kitchen and canning — both of which were in the business plan, but not for a couple years. This would not have been possible without the passion, dedication, and teamwork of our leadership team. When the goings got tough, we dug in together and got it done.”
Michael Chisnell & Megan Slater, Business partners, Ignite Brewing
“We made a very purposeful pivot to focus resources to healthcare and public sector customers. These two verticals were disproportionally impacted by COVID-19 and need to grow compute capacity to serve their patients and constituents. This was the right decision from both a business and human perspective.”
Gregory (Greg) Ernst, VP of Sales, Marketing & Communications Group and GM of U.S. Sales & Marketing, Intel