• Geoff Linton

Thoughts From the Trenches: A CEO's Perspective on COVID-19

Panic is not productive. Think forward and be strategic. My mantra during crisis: Pause, Reflect, and Act.


Over the last few weeks since the COVID-19 Pandemic has been declared, companies have been diligently meeting to discuss the best plan for action. Our CEO peer group, through the CEO Global Network has been meeting regularly to discuss and share thoughts and strategies of how to prepare and mitigate the risks.


It has become clear that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on our economy, the health of businesses, employees, and customers & citizens. Throughout numerous discussions, businesses are struggling to understand the immediate ramifications and impact. 


Businesses and organizations are complex and their performance varies depending on their business models. COVID-19 is disrupting all business models. Some important questions are- For how long? What can leaders do about it? What will the new normal be?


The difficulty of a pandemic is there are dynamic forces at play. Business owners and executives need to get a strategy and plan for what they can control. “When life gives you lemons, you need to make lemonade”!


The leaders that I have been talking to are making proactive plans. They reinforce their Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA), and they also take the time to build out new capabilities. Pause-Reflect-Act should be the mantra to address this crisis. But, be strategic and take the time to care for your employees and customers, determine how you can be more efficient in your processes/technology and shortlist your real priorities. Prior to the crisis, many marketers and businesspeople were executing too many initiatives. Now is a good time to think about simplifying and focusing.  


Overall, my advice: be proactive, take control, and spend the upcoming weeks wisely.

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