2020 was a tough year for business, no matter what market you are in. It was rough on the corporate world and entrepreneurs alike. What lessons can we learn from the pandemic as we look to the future? The best thing we can do is look to the leaders who either weathered the crisis or emerged as a result of it. What traits or actions defined these people, and what can they teach us?
One of the key traits of those who weathered the storm is perseverance. We think of perseverance as maintaining strength despite tough challenges. But it can also mean continuing even after failure. Those who persevered and held their business up through tough times are to be admired. But also those who lost their business and proceeded to pick themselves up and start from scratch, armed with fresh knowledge and skills.
The leaders who suffered the least during the pandemic were those with flexibility. Those who see change as a wave to be ridden no matter how choppy it gets. When change comes, if you’re ready to adjust your sails, you can ride it out. If all you know is how to point the ship in one direction and do what you’ve always done, you’re destined to sink.
Another trait of businesses and leaders who managed to thrive is communication. This is a crucial thing during a time of crisis. Even if you are having a tough time, clear communication with clients and customers can create a feeling of trust and transparency. People don’t feel safe because you create the illusion of safety. They feel safe because they know you will be honest with them no matter what.
An entrepreneur needs to be always ready to react to changes in the market and adapt. The pandemic ending doesn’t spell the end of the changes in the business world. Right now we are in the middle of a period of change, not at the end. The post-pandemic world will bring even more challenges that we must adapt to.