A Tale of Two CEOs

I talked with 2 CEO’s this past week who had two different approaches to how they were managing their teams during this Corona Virus Pandemic.

One leader, who heads a global manufacturing company shared with me that being in the center of the storm was very calming for him. While he was concerned for the well-being of his employees, he found the challenges associated with the crisis to be invigorating and well within his capabilities. He had to negotiate health and safety issues with his union, ensure that their supply chain could keep up with current business demands, and educate his Board and investors about his continuity plan for during and after the pandemic passes. 

For him, he told me, leadership is not what can be put on a spreadsheet, but it is in how he communicates, inspires, and acts.

The second CEO heads a non-profit organization and her approach is a bit different but none the less effective. She feels a great sense of urgency in addressing this crisis with her team and she described herself as being inpatient in getting things done.  She is putting in long days and is establishing clear work plans for her various teams which have resulted in her organization providing valuable information to her clients on a regular basis. Unlike CEO number 1, who is comfortable being in the center of the whirlwind, CEO 2 is creating a whirlwind and her team is responding to her expectations, which makes her satisfied as well.

As the image by my computer says, “Living Life in Unchartered Waters,” reminds me that there is no clear or right path to how we make our way through this unprecedented time and we each have to find that path for ourselves. These CEO’s are making it happen in their own way and in the process, are learning a great deal about themselves.

Your Challenge: How are you addressing the demands of this crisis and what are you learning about yourself?

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