I reached out to several of the extraordinary leaders featured in my book to get their input on leading during these trying times, posing questions about what they’re asking of themselves as leaders right now, what they’re prioritizing in business, and how, if at all, this crisis can be used for the better for themselves, their organizations, and our country.

Below you’ll find Brad Wilson’s response.  He is the former CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

Stay calm and carry on. Do not panic or overreact. Act and communicate with a genuine since of urgency which our circumstances certainly require. Be clear, confident and honest about what the immediate and long term impact is on the organization. Ask your organization for input on what they think will benefit the organization and listen. Communicate transparently and frequently. Be open to any and all questions from the members of your organization and answer them. If you do not know the answer to a question, say so. 

 Consider what your organization can do to assist the employee families. Examples: child care resources, hardship grants, if the company has a credit union, low/no interest loans, creation/expansion of work from home opportunities, maximum flexibility with work hours, leave, etc. Ask how can we help each other? Is there a process in place where employees can confidently, confidentially or publicly ask for help and get it. This includes providing a catalogue of “outside” resources with links that people can use to pursue those resources for themselves. 

 A colleague told me long ago, “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” Ask yourself and your team, what are we learning about ourselves, individually, corporately and collectively as a society? Knowing what we know “today” what, if anything would we do differently as an organization? Lessons learned should be recorded in real time. Eventually, time should be spent carefully analyzing the sequence of events, what was done or not done, etc. to learn how to be better positioned the next time something like this happens. 

 Lastly. When you hear someone say, “that will never happen” remember the Boy Scout motto….Be prepared.


For more on working with me directly: sarah@sarah-levitt.com   I work with CEOs and senior executives who are courageous, talented, successful, and want to make their mark.

New 90 Day Coaching Program.  Now is the time to be proactive.  There are urgent fires caused by this disruption that demand your time and there are the strategic priorities that need your considered and considerable attention.  I’m offering this 3 month program for those who need immediate guidance and support steering though these tumultuous times, professionally and personally.  I’ll be providing best practices for leading through uncertainty and a confidential sounding board on matters ranging from revenue to remote workforce.  For more information: sarah@sarah-levitt.com  Limited slots.

Coming soon: Reinventing:  A free webinar on the Three Legged Stool of Career Reinvention.