Leading in Times of Change

Aug 5, 2020

These past few months have been incredibly challenging for everyone. Business owners have faced the added challenges of trying to keep their businesses afloat, take care of their employees, and stay marketable, during a pandemic and economic downfall. We have all had to adapt to new ways of thinking and operating- what has become “the new normal”. Unemployment rates are high, as are societal tensions. It can all feel very uncertain and overwhelming.

Tumultuous times produce change, and change is inevitable and necessary. Figuring out how to navigate through these challenging times, learn from them, and adapt to newer, better methods of doing things is the best possible outcome.

How can you become a great leader in times of change?

Business Ethics and Values

Your business ethics and values should reflect what the current times are calling for. The people you hire and contract with should also reflect those same values. Currently, we are seeing an emphasis placed on health and safety, and equality. How can you adapt your business to meet these societal needs?

Public health and safety is important always, but has been especially important and emphasized during this pandemic. Many business owners have had to completely change the way their business operates in order to ensure they are doing their part to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep themselves, their employees and clientele safe. Going forward, think about what you have learned about the importance of public health and safety, and what new practices you can incorporate into your everyday business when things go back to normal.

High societal tensions have raised the issues of equality and diversity. Think about what takeaways you can incorporate into your business to make sure you are appealing to a diverse set of clientele, and how your business can meet the needs of a diverse set of clients. 


Communicating with your employees is a major part of leading a team. Whatever the situation is, whether your employees are currently laid off, or still working virtually or in any other way that is not typical, you should be communicating with them every step of the way, so they know what to expect, and you do as well. 

If you are planning to reopen, communicate exactly what that means for the business and for your employees. If you don’t have enough work or funding to employ them at the current time, they should be aware of your intentions. 

Some businesses, including Airbnb have provided “layoff packages” for employees to help during this tough time. Airbnb has given employees who were laid off 14 weeks of base pay, plus one additional week for every year employed by the company. 

It is completely understandable to be struggling right now, and as a business owner, we ultimately have to make decisions based on what is best for ourselves and the business. If you have the means to compensate your employees for work missed due to these extenuating circumstances, then you absolutely should do what you can. If you don’t have the means to, that’s okay- just make sure your employees are completely aware of what’s going on.

Doing Business Virtually

During this pandemic, many businesses and institutions have had to switch to conducting business virtually. What this has taught us is that there is a lot that can be done remotely, rather than in the traditional office setting. Working remotely is far more convenient, saves money and time, and allows for businesses to expand beyond the four walls of the office.

Here at The Virtual CFO, all of our work is done remotely. What this means for our clients is lower cost of service, diverse talent and experience, and convenience. 

Need to get your business back on track? We are here to help.