How LeadHR’s Lead through Crisis!

So, what do you think the “word of the year” will be in 2020? Unprecedented, Essential, Fluid, New Normal, Social distancing, Asymptomatic, PPE? …and how about the way we end our greetings “Be Safe and Stay Healthy”! The world has changed… Our circumstances have changed — but not our mission and values! George Bush once said, “Leaders Bring People together.” Probably one of the biggest challenges in 2020 has been bringing people together when everyone scatters to work remote. Crisis also creates a distraction, but leaders can help us get traction.

As I think about our current crisis COVID-19, I think about my focus as well as what I have seen from other LeadHR’s during this time:

  1. Staying Visible 
  2. Staying Connected
  3. Staying Educated 

Why is this so important? Visibility, Connectivity, and Education? Fear is at the top of the list… Fear of people losing business, our jobs, and most importantly loved ones… In fact, over 17M people have filed unemployment claims in last three weeks. Families are trying to find their lane in the new world of work which now includes balancing family and work… Uncertainty is a time when real leadership is needed.

This is also a defining moment for many leaders and real opportunity to give people hope, security and encouragement to help others through the crisis. It’s also an opportunity for change… As we change the way we view things, and the way we do things in this new world of work, it’s important to keep perspective on momentum. When we have it, we think we are better than what we are and when we don’t have it, we think we are worse! Momentum can help us propel to new places… and keep us moving!

  • Staying Visible – Jack Welch, one of the most respected CEO’s of modern time once shared with his management team the importance of communication. “Communicate, Communicate, Communicate, then when you’re finished, communicate it again…” When a leader is visible, there is a sense of calmness. Leadership is about vision and showing the way for others…  In our company, Armstrong Relocation and Companies, our CEO sends weekly videos not only to our company, but to our moving crews and van operators too. His message is authentic and includes encouragement and hope. When the leader is visible, he is saying we are in this together. I also saw a very heart felt video from the CEO at the Ritz Carlton talking about the impact on their organization and what the management team is doing from a financial perspective as others to get through the crisis. There are so many stories… What about you or your leadership? How are they communicating with you?
  • Staying Connected – Connectivity brings engagement and engagement brings people together. Great leaders know the importance of staying connected during a crisis. They are in front asking questions, and sharing information. One of the silver linings of COVID-9 is that it has forced many of us to embrace technology. This has been a great way to help us stay connected as a team in the same city, across the US, and around the world. Staying connected is key. During COVID-19, people scattered and started working remote. This makes it more challenging to bring people together. However, real leaders stand up and show up during challenging times and there are so many examples of this… One example includes a CHRO in our “CLIMB” (Connect Lead Inspire Mentor Build) group that was sharing how they are using this time of remote work to bring people together by asking team members to share pictures. The organization is in based in south Texas and has several schools across the state. They decided to give each week “a theme” such as pets, or outdoors, or gratitude and asked each team member to share a picture to post on their internal website. The organization then shares the pictures received from team members so everyone can see their team and families in action. This is a great way to keep people engaged and connect on a higher level. Theodore Roosevelt said it best, “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.  What are you doing as a leader or what have you seen in your company that has connected you with everyone?
  • Staying educated – Leaders are readers… and stay up to date with information. Today we have an influx of information through social media and if we are not intentional, we can get overwhelmed. It can even get depressing watching the news all day… During COVID-19, World Health Organization and CDC (Center for Disease Control) have been in front. We need to make sure we have the best sources for consuming information. Another great source is through local SHRM Chapters such as DallasHR. They use an HRConnect forum to help Texas SHRM members with questions in their workplace. This is a place for members to ask questions to see if other members are experiencing similar challenges hoping they might have ideas or can offer support. WorldwideERC also has a mobility community to help members share information about relocation issues… and SHRM Connect is helping more than 300,000 members connect worldwide about HR challenges! Where are you getting your information?  

Education is intellectual, physical and spiritual too. Staying educated about how to work in the new world of work brings lots of challenges and newness for people not used to it. We can do this through book clubs, podcasts, and being part of groups on social media.

LeadHR’s are providing support in many ways from “how to plan a workout”, “how to network”, “how to plan your work day” while making sure “breaks” and “taking care of family needs” are included… and most of this is for the cost of your time and thats it!

Giving yourself grace and permission to say okay, it’s not going as planned… and I will try again tomorrow is “a must” as we navigate this new world of work.


One of the most impacting things we can do is to reach out during a time of crisis… I was in a “huddle” meeting hosted by Greg Hawks a few weeks ago, and one of the attendees mentioned they didn’t feel like they were able to make a contribution. They were in a contributor role. I had just finished a webinar and shared some insights, but offered that we can all do something… When we attend an event, share your takeaways, when we hear a story that touched us, push information to others, when we see a resource or way to help the company, share with leadership… Stay visible, stay engaged and stay connected… to help you stay in the game..

Lastly, I want to share one of the most impacting emails I received during COVID-19. It was an email from my friend Rose Ann Garza, CHRO Kirbey Lane. She had received the email, and forwarded it since it was impacting to her. It was great for reflect and perspective on some COVID-19 bright spots… Yes, I did say bright spots… As I say, when you look for the good, you will see good… so today I want to share with you.  The message what Bill gates learned COVID-19. I hope it brings you a sense of peace as you reflect on the points below. There is nothing more powerful than having a perspective of gratitude during a crisis, and after…   

  1. It is reminding us that we are all equal, regardless of our culture, religion, occupation, financial situation or how famous we are. This disease treats us all equally, perhaps we should to. If you don’t believe me, just ask Tom Hanks.
  2. It is reminding us that we are all connected and something that affects one person has an effect on another. It is reminding us that the false borders that we have put up have little value as this virus does not need a passport. It is reminding us, by oppressing us for a short time, of those in this world whose whole life is spent in oppression.
  3. It is reminding us of how precious our health is and how we have moved to neglect it through eating nutrient poor manufactured food and drinking water that is contaminated with chemicals upon chemicals. If we don’t look after our health, we will, of course, get sick.
  4. It is reminding us of the shortness of life and of what is most important for us to do, which is to help each other, especially those who are old or sick. Our purpose is not to buy toilet roll.
  5. It is reminding us of how materialistic our society has become and how, when in times of difficulty, we remember that it’s the essentials that we need (food, water, medicine) as opposed to the luxuries that we sometimes unnecessarily give value to.
  6. It is reminding us of how important our family and home life is and how much we have neglected this. It is forcing us back into our houses so we can rebuild them into our home and to strengthen our family unit.
  7. It is reminding us that our true work is not our job, that is what we do, not what we were created to do.  Our true work is to look after each other, to protect each other and to be of benefit to one another.
  8. It is reminding us to keep our egos in check. It is reminding us that no matter how great we think we are or how great others think we are,
    a virus can bring our world to a standstill.
  9. It is reminding us that the power of freewill is in our hands. We can choose to cooperate and help each other, to share, to give, to help and to support each other or we can choose to be selfish, to hoard, to look after only our self. Indeed, it is difficulties that bring out our true colors.
  10. It is reminding us that we can be patient, or we can panic. We can either understand that this type of situation has happened many times before in history and will pass, or we can panic and see it as the end of the world and, consequently, cause ourselves more harm than good.
  11. It is reminding us that this can either be an end or a new beginning. This can be a time of reflection and understanding, where we learn from our mistakes, or it can be the start of a cycle which will continue until we finally learn the lesson we are meant to.
  12. It is reminding us that this Earth is sick. It is reminding us that we need to look at the rate of deforestation just as urgently as we look at the speed at which toilet rolls are disappearing off of shelves. We are sick because our home is sick.
  13. It is reminding us that after every difficulty, there is always ease. Life is cyclical, and this is just a phase in this great cycle. We do not need to panic; this too shall pass.
  14. Whereas many see the Corona/ Covid-19 virus as a great disaster, I prefer to see it as a *great corrector*.  It is sent to remind us of the important lessons that we seem to have forgotten and it is up to us if we will learn them or not

Stay Visible, Stay Connected, and Stay Educated… and most importantly Stay in the game. Our most important work is ahead of us!

…and remember the words of Solomon, the wisest man that ever lived… “This too shall pass!”

Quote of the week: “How we view things is how we do things.” John C Maxwell

Call to Action: List ways you are staying visible, connected, and educated. What is a strategy you are using to lead during these unprecedented times? Share with others… We all need someone to lean on!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “How LeadHRs lead through Crisis ” with Bruce Waller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page. Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com to review my leadership book “Find Your Lane” and journal “Milemarkers” both available on amazon.

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