We asked Brian, our MD, to tell us about his lockdown experiences in both his business and personal life. Brian tells us about the ups and downs, the decisions and how the changes have affected him, his team and his clients.
What challenges have you had to overcome in business when lockdown first started?
This is actually a difficult question to answer as it has affected my business life and my personal life differently. From a business perspective the first week was working out how the different businesses I have an interest in would continue to be able to service their clients in the way in which they had before lockdown.
We were fortunate that working from home was not an alien concept at all. The next was how to make sure all the wonderful team were going to cope with working from home for what was an unknown period of time. Within days we had a regime of daily huddles for the different teams and weekly team meetings on Zoom for the entire team in each business. They’ve panned out differently in each business but the over-riding thing for me is that I have gotten to know each and every member of the team much better than I did before lockdown. Mainly because I can see what is behind them on zoom calls!
How did you manage the changes for our clients?
Has lockdown changed you as a business leader?
I’ve had a lot of time to reflect and a couple of weeks into lockdown. I stepped down as CEO of a business I have an interest in and took up the role of Chairman. I had a fabulous successor sitting in the wings and he has approached the role with gusto.
The reason for making the decision was because I knew we needed to have strategic plans in place to get the businesses through the pandemic and I knew I would struggle to do that effectively with all the other responsibilities as CEO.
My passion is strategy, leadership, people, culture, values and everything that makes businesses great, its just a shame it took a pandemic to get me to make the decision to step back and concentrate on all these things.
So thanks for sharing your business challenges. Now tell us how have you been?
Did you do it?
Have you had time to do anything else?!
Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
The one thing I think I will always have to work on is how to get the energy of a board room or meeting room into Zoom. I think my energy comes across but I find it difficult to feed off the room when on virtual calls. I did a LinkedIn Video on it a couple of weeks ago and a pal of mine messaged me with “Microsoft Whiteboard man – get a grip”.
I probably hadn’t explained properly. Lots of companies all over the world have been using this technology for years. But I used to visit the HO of each business at least every 2 weeks and so I’m so used to the connection of the board room. The buzz of a meeting room. Getting up walking around. I have really struggled with that but I am getting used to it.
Right Arthur – walkies….
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