By Winfield Salyards, Marketing Coordinator at Heinz Marketing

Times of crisis are when real leadership is forged, and leaders are sifted from the rest.  How we respond in these times of crisis define who we are as business people as well as our company and team values.  As has been rehashed over and over recently, we are in a time of crisis.  With that in mind, I want to go over 5 things I have been thinking about in the way I have been comporting and working.  Many of these I have read or heard from other people and have stuck with me.

  1. This is a Crisis

I know this seems obvious, but I think it is important to always keep in mind moving forward, and we need to accept we may not know how long until we get out of it. We need to contextualize all our actions with this being a crisis. Everyone is moving through it at different rates and we cannot expect everyone to be on the same page.

  1. Move Forward with Compassion

A few months ago, I wrote about the importance of marketing teams going out and serving their greater communities to practice empathy, and now more than ever I think that stands.  While we cannot go out and help in person, we can still practice empathy. In crisis, we work through a cycle like the stages of grief. They are denial, deliberation and the decisive moment. Everyone moves through them differently and they often repeat themselves. With that in mind, we need to treat our customers, our prospects, our coworkers, and ourselves wish compassion.

  1. Be Patient

Everyone has stuff going on right now that is taking up our bandwidth.  Many people are suddenly homeschooling their kids, dealing with sick family members, sick themselves, or a million other things that come with crisis. We need to remember that and be patient.

  1. This is a time of change, go with it.

As it says, times of crisis, are times of change.  We need to move with it, be flexible and pivot to suit the time.  Shore up our internal workings, build on successful programs, and take the time now to learn new skills that can be useful.

  1. Be Decisive

As Catherine Cook said, “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not making decisions.”  Be cautious and do your pre-work but be decisive when you decide and move forward.  There is no point in letting yourself stagnate.

I am sure there are more things to add to this list, but these are primarily what I have been thinking about. If you have others, leave them in the comments below!  As we all work through this crisis, let’s do our best to be conscious of these things and move forward in a way that lifts each other up.