By: Miles Japhet, Chairman, Lombard Insurance
My personal take on effective leadership at all times, but particularly when circumstances bring multiple challenges at the same time, is that a shared value system based on observed behaviours from Leadership is the cornerstone of a successful organisation.
Add to that a clear sense of purpose, short communication lines and time horizons and people empowered by having a clear understanding of what they will NOT do, and you have an organisation that is well positioned to cope effectively with crises.
I have seen this play out most effectively across our insurance alliance in 10 countries over the last few months and can only conclude that the elements I have covered are all blinding flashes of the obvious.
At the next level of details it is important to:
A. Keep issues in perspective
B. Tackle the issues one step at a time in a logical sequence (eat the elephant one bite at a time!)
C. Over communicate
As for our current Covid crisis, the full effects of which we are all still coming to grips with, the key issue is to ensure that no matter how tough ones decisions are in the short term, you do not compromise your values, as reputations take years to build but are destroyed in seconds.
Every problem presents new opportunities and, in seeking these, it is important to know what your core competencies are and how these may be pivoted to tackle new needs.
For example, in the Lombard environment, we believe that our credit assessment process, based on a combination of both analytical and behavioural management skills, will position us very well to extend working capital to businesses that, but for Covid, were sound.
This capacity will not only be useful to help mitigate existing exposures we may have but would also be valuable for a Public/ Private partnership with Government for a broader audience.
As with organisations, individuals can also look to themselves to understand what they enjoy doing and most likely what they are then good at. By playing to these strengths in times of stress they can put their heads above the parapet and contribute and so achieve growth and recognition.
As people who have grown up in an environment filled with uncertainty, we are most probably amongst the best suited in the world to “make a plan” in the post-Covid world. Let us now prove that to be the case!!