Sorry to burst your bubble, but the second wave of coronavirus is here.
This, according to the Toronto Star, October 2.
Whether you believe the second wave is here or is coming, the numbers are clear. Cases are on the rise. As leaders, are we ready for it? Are we ready for the emotional toll it will have on our customers, our co-workers, our employees and families? Are we ready for the impact it will have on our bottom line? Most of us are still struggling our way through the first wave.
Leaders, as we all know wear multiple hats. They are responsible for delivering results to their own leaders and/or to governing boards. They are responsible for ensuring customers receive products and services to their expectations, maintaining consumer confidence in this time of turmoil. They are responsible to their employees – to keep them safe – emotionally and physically. They are responsible to themselves.
All of the above can be daunting at the best of times; during a pandemic it can be quite frightening. Leaders need to show strength, yet vulnerability, two competencies that seem at odds with each other.
But why is this different from the first wave? What is different this second time around? People know what to expect. You might think that should make it easier. It doesn’t. We know what it is like to be and feel isolated. We know what it is like to have the bottom fall out of our business. We know what it is like to have people in our community fall sick and in some cases, die.
We know, not everyone follows the rules, complacency has set in.
“50% of Canadians surveyed are not confident that others in their community would adhere to public safety guidelines like handwashing, wearing masks and keeping a safe distance should we experience a second wave.”
And what does this do? It creates fear. It impacts our mental health.
“Young women are most likely to say that a second lockdown would have a very negative effect on their mental health — 42 percent say this would be the case. One-in-five Canadians (22%) say it would not affect them.”
And what can we, as leaders do?
Stay focused. Find that balance between strength and vulnerability. Communicate, support, communicate, support.
Your organization needs you, your customers need you, your people need you.