How to Make Lemonade Out of Lemons

With the recent impact of Coronavirus, organizations of all types (corporate, community, government) are moving rapidly to ensure the health and safety of their employees, customers, and community members. A big part of this has involved putting a moratorium on all non-essential travel and large meetings.

This has been especially challenging for those of us who work in a “face-to-face” culture. (Trust me, I get it and love meeting clients in person!) So, what are those of us who rely on face-to-face meetings, travel, and trade shows to do?

Use this opportunity to lead differently and improve your bench strength in alternative communications.


As Leaders, we have the responsibility to provide a vision and a path forward. Furthermore, imagine all the advantages to broadening your remote communications styles. Global operations, remote team unity, and work-life-balance all can benefit from different modes of communication.

In that spirit, here are 3 ways we can continue to lead, leveraging tools at our disposal:

1. Lead Digitally: Thanks to Moore’s Law and the resulting innovation, we have more technology at our disposal than our ancestors could have possibly imagined. Below are a number of options you can leverage immediately. If you already are, ask yourself, what else can we do to further leverage these tools? How can we replace that trade show meeting with a webinar or Zoom call?

  • Remote Conferencing: Zoom, Skype, Google Hangout, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, BlueJeans, UberConference
  • Collaboration Platforms: Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, Basecamp
  • Social Platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Content (is still king) – video, blog, etc.
  • Old School: Text, Email, Phone

2. Lead through Connection: As humans, we crave connection to our tribe. Consider options such as the below to foster the opportunity for your teams to connect, share and support one another

  • Peer Groups / Pods / Communities – these are self-led groups that can meet regularly (virtually) to support one another, recommend ideas and drive action forward.
  • Town Halls / Fireside Chats – these tried and true approaches continue to be effective for a reason: they drive communication and help us all feel that we have a voice.
  • Engagement Techniques: using platforms (e.g SurveyMonkey) to enable your stakeholders provide recommendations, ideas, suggestions, etc.

3. Lead through Focus and Empowerment: Given that idle hands are the Devil’s playground, as leaders, we have the responsibility to:

  • Reinforce Mission, Vision and Values – keep reminding of the “why,” “what,” “where” (we are going), and “how” (we will get there). As part of this, be ruthless about what you will not do.
  • Empower and GET OUT OF THE WAY – give your teams what they need and let them lead.
  • Social Platforms: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
  • Leverage the “Yes, and” methodology: in times such as these, we must both acknowledge the reality we are facing, while continue to move forward with new and different ideas. Foster this through modeling for others: “yes, and one thing we might do is…,” or “yes, and what I love about that ideas is…

Necessity is the mother of invention. Let’s make mama proud.

Stephen Kohler is CEO & Founder of Audira Labs, a leader in executive coaching & leadership development. Audira empowers Leaders, Teams and Organizations to become better listeners, enabling unleashed leadership potential and maximizing fulfillment.