I have always been a planner. I enjoy the process of planning and the work involved in preparing for a goal. I like to prepare for different alternatives and be ready with a plan B, C, and if necessary, Z. Planning comes naturally to me, and a good plan makes me feel secure and gives me a sense of control.
2020 has presented the planners of the world with an unprecedented dilemma. How can we plan when each day brings unbelievable news reports, unpredictable challenges, and unforeseeable obstacles?
In the absence of a reliable plan, I have learned to pivot. Like a basketball player, I am keeping one foot firmly planted on the ground and pivoting in order to create an open shot or pass the ball to a teammate. As a business leader, this has been a valuable lesson. Here are a few things I’ve learned:
Don’t overreact. I have become more aware of what I can control and what I can’t, which has given me the freedom to lead in a different way.
Trust your team. Remote working has forced me to find new ways to communicate with our team and encourage them from afar.
Listen more, speak less. I know I do not always have the best answer. The questions being asked in the time of Coronavirus are like none we have ever heard before, so the answers are not always apparent. I ask more questions of my trusted advisors and listen to my team before making decisions.
Look for new technologies. I am learning new technologies and exploring new methods of delivering more efficient and better services.
Keep planning. As issues arise, I pivot and then adapt my plan using the information I have, knowing that tomorrow could bring a new obstacle that requires another quick pivot and new plan.
Basketball coaches design plays to get their players open, but when their opponents defend well, a player may have to pivot and find a new way to score. No matter how good a plan is on paper, reality may present different challenges and the plan may have to be altered or scrapped. A good leader learns to quickly pivot and adjusts the plan.
During this unpredictable time of pandemic, economic uncertainty and social upheaval, planners have to pivot. In fact, pivoting may be the only thing you can plan on.
About Propel HR. Propel HR is an IRS-certified PEO that has been a leading provider of human resources and payroll solutions for more than 20 years. Propel partners with small to midsized businesses to manage payroll, employee benefits, compliance and risks, and other HR functions in a way that maximizes efficiency and reduces costs.
Lee Yarborough and her father, Braxton Cutchin, founded the company in 1996. She has served on the Board of Directors of NAPEO and currently serves as the Chair for the NAPEO Carolinas Leadership Council. In 2015, she was named a Fellow of the eleventh class of the Liberty Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Lee also serves on the Executive Board of Public Education Partners and is the founder and director of Read Up Greenville, a young adult and middle grades book festival in downtown Greenville, SC.