Which COVID-19 CEO Are You?


Wrote this on, July 6, 2020

Which COVID-19 CEO are you?

COVID-19 has led CEO’s and board directors of businesses to think fast and ahead. Whether hands-on or not, it goes without saying that leaders have had to re-strategise not only their business models but perhaps their working style too. 

2020 blindsided us all. In our lifetime, the world has never faced a global lockdown, so much so booming economies have taken a hit. On no account have businesses had to be as reactive as they have now, at least not since the 2008 recession. During unprecedented times, board members and CEOs may have to operate in a way that may not mold to their personality and work ethic but maneuvering through a storm requires action and adaptation. 

Any fruitful business needs strong leadership at its spearhead. Each leadership style comes with pros and cons and during a period of crisis our strengths and weaknesses show up. Which COVID-19 CEO are you?

Which COVID-19 CEO are you?The Opportunist

Business heads require tenacity, drive and ambition. Any CEO isn’t in their position because they waited for opportunities to knock on their door rather, they made way for them. A small percentage of board directors would have seen the pandemic as an opportunity, these are the opportunists. An opportunist looks at the positives; searching for new avenues in the industry that not only adds value to their business but how they can support those in need during COVID-19. For the opportunist, it’s about creating new products, reaching new and different targets, and maintaining a strong force.

Although, as you can imagine with a lack of physical working conditions, creatives and innovative heads have had to quickly adapt to working together virtually. Ideas boom when teams can come together and in light of COVID-19 creativity and motivation has lessened. 

The Absorber

Ostriches are known for keeping their head in the sand, and unlucky for some, so are many CEOs. A handful of board members have turned a blind eye to the situation internally by absorbing any work stress for the sake of the business and their team’s wellbeing. 

While this might sound good for the company’s employees, ignorance isn’t always have been bliss when our mental wellbeing isn’t prepped for a global health crisis. The absorber puts the wellbeing of their teams at the forefront of their goals, thus increasing their own workload causing them to be pretty time-poor and absent. 

The Reactor

CEOs are risk-takers in themselves and some, who lack real direction, strategy and logical thinking at the best of times certainly won’t know how to navigate their way through a pandemic. 

This kind of CEO is turbulent. They transmit stress and anxiety to their teams because their biggest concern is the fate of the business. Instead of thinking long term, they are reactive to simply put the fire out. Only once it’s over can they begin to strategise for the future.

Which COVID-19 CEO are you?How Can I Adapt as a CEO?

Whilst personalities play a role, effectively leading a business aligns with the leadership style you adopt. During times of COVID-19, leaders and CEOs need to think about how they can adapt themselves and their business. It’s natural as a CEO that you can become overwhelmed, particularly if what is going on is out of your usual remit. A barrage of emails, constant meetings and a never-ending to-do list can force even the calmest of leaders to crack, let alone a pandemic.

How Can I Avoid Burnout Out as A CEO during COVID-19?

Many CEO’s overestimate their abilities and result in effectively addressing an issue at hand, in this case, the issue being COVID-19. Burnout is inevitable but so is resilience. As a CEO, you can avoid burnout and build resilience with the following steps:

Become Aware of Who You Are. Be aware of who you are, mentally, spiritually and physically by looking inwards. Look to your lifestyle and your routine for guidance. Our spirit, physical and mental self determine our resilience. Check-in with yourself throughout each day, ask yourself how do you feel in the morning? By examining how you feel physically, mentally and spiritually when you wake up you become aware and remain present throughout the day.

Set Goals. Goals can be long term and short term. In this instance, we are referring to daily goals. Start by writing daily to-do lists and define what you would like to achieve for the day. This can help to align your personal goals with your business goals. They don’t need to be grand or impressive, a small goal could be that you’ll focus for 30 minutes to complete a task followed by a 10-minute break to sharpen your mind. Overtime new behavioural patterns help to build resilience.

Reflect. Look back on what you’ve learnt during the day in building your resilience. What did you do differently? What could you do differently tomorrow? Reflection helps define what is effective and what isn’t in building a stronger, more grounded you.

Which COVID-19 CEO are you?How Can I Improve As a CEO during COVID-19?

The opportunist would benefit from looking at the overall picture carefully before executing a new idea. Think about how new challenges, ideas and projects might impact you, your business and your employees, are they beneficial or will they render further issues?

The absorber would benefit by taking more time out for themselves. Our ego and pride can be a bottleneck to our progress by assuming we can go it alone. We can’t. Every day, take time out to exercise, meditate, and do the things you enjoy too. Chances are you’ll feel balanced and refreshed.

The reactor would benefit from being surrounded by positive energy. You can do this by exercising regularly, ensuring you get enough sleep, and eating a well-balanced diet. Positive relationships also help surround you with uplifting energy. You can do this by spending time with family and friends. 

COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate against seniority. Whichever COVID-19 CEO you may be a pandemic can mentally impact us without us even realising. A winning CEO has never been more prevalent.

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