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A Critical Time for Leadership

Posted by: Angie Prather on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

This morning the Chamber hosted an Industry Call with area leaders representing the construction field on how they're adapting their businesses in response to the stay-at-home orders and the economic impact of COVID-19 that they're experiencing. The session was moderated by Ben Hutton of Hutton and participants included Kyle Blasdel of Conco and Damon Young of Mahaney Group. All three are Chamber Board members.

The session included an update about the immediate and long-term financial impact on the business community and how leaders are responding to new challenges in human resources, strategic planning and communication. 21 Chamber members in the construction and partner industries sat in on the session. One of the most important topics of discussion was the level of leadership and communication required during this unprecedented event.

We thought it would be valuable to share some of their takeaways from the last few weeks as well as the podcasts, business articles and videos that are inspiring Ben, Kyle and Damon during these challenging times.

Top Takeaways
-Clear, concise and frequent internal communication is vital for your team in combating rumors and providing relevant information. Fear is contagious and debilitating. Don't feed it.
-Empathy with your customers, colleagues and team members is important. Many things are weighing on them right now and they need to know you are concerned about their welfare.
-Reimagine your business and look for problems you can solve with your expertise and tools. You may need to move your business to "where the market is" rather than relying on your previous model. Shifting your resources and being fluid will help you survive and thrive.
-Be responsive, nimble and keep learning. Expect a daily change in your plans. Think long term but act short term.
-Resilience, strength and collaboration are critical. Leading during a crisis is brutal, but it provides valuable leadership lessons and the results will be worth it.

Helpful books, articles, podcasts and videos
Covid-19 Implications for business
Online executive briefing from McKinsey & Co
March 2020

That Discomfort You're Feeling Is Grief
Harvard Business Review article by Scott Berinato
March 23, 2020

Unlocking US
2020 Podcast series by Brene Brown

The Learning Leader  
A podcast by Patrick Lencioni of The Table Group

Do Not Be Afraid
Video by Gary Haugen
August 2019

A High Impact Life
A book by Pete Ochs
February 2019

Our thanks to everyone who participated in today's Industry Call. Chelsea Dyer, Manager of Membership Engagement is planning additional Industry Call events as well as other programming that is helpful to members. Please contact her with suggestions or to learn more about how to become involved. 316-268-1127 or cdyer@wichitachamber.org.

Please check the Chamber's Wichita Resource Center for more helpful tools for your company or organization at wichitachamber.org/covid-19​.

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2 comments on "A Critical Time for Leadership"

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Chamber Team on April 3, 2020 at 8:38:05 am said:
We are keeping these industry specific but I will pass along your information to the team.
Steve Conduff on April 3, 2020 at 8:23:58 am said:
Please include us in your next industry Call notice.
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