Complementing our 100Hours initiative to deliver breakthrough solutions in the time of Coronavirus, these Must Reads provide great insights on attaining the leadership skills, the resilience, the peak performance, and the growth & transformation that is crucial amidst the chaos of Coronavirus. We encourage you to make use of these Must Reads, and for 30 days, new Must Reads will be added daily – here are a few to get you started.

BEYOND CORONAVIRUS: THE PATH TO THE NEXT NORMAL

@McKinsey by Kevin Sneader & Shubham Singhal
4 Minute Read

“For some organizations, near-term survival is the only agenda item. Others are peering through the fog of uncertainty, thinking about how to position themselves once the crisis has passed and things return to normal. The question is, ‘What will normal look like?’ While no one can say how long the crisis will last, what we find on the other side will not look like the normal of recent years.”

Can you envision the world post-coronavirus? It certainly won't be the same as it was before. The idea of a "new normal" surely adds to the high level of uncertainty that we are all feeling right now, but being ready for new norms across the board is the right move going forward. We're entering a new age of business, communication, and thought – if your company is positioned nicely when it arrives, that can only mean good things.

REACTION, REBOUND, RECESSION, AND REIMAGINATION

@Boston Consulting Group by Martin Reeves, Lars Faeste, Kevin Whitaker, & Mark Abraham
7 Minute Read

Coronavirus has ferociously changed the world, but don't assume that everything will go back to what it once was before. Instead, we should prepare for the "new normal" that's fast approaching. In the words of the authors, some of BCG's high-level leaders,“reacting to the immediate issues presented by a crisis is necessary, but it is not sufficient. By also preparing for a potential rebound, understanding how to take advantage in the event of a recession, and reimagining the post-crisis future of businesses and societies, leaders can stay ahead of the crisis as it evolves.” When the new normal arrives will you, as a leader, be ready?

REAL LEADERS ARE FORGED IN CRISIS


@Harvard Business Review by Nancy Koehn
8 Minute Read

Historical figures are always remembered for their leadership during their darkest hours. Coronavirus' impact on the world has been unprecedented, and our darkest hours are happening now. Leading with resolve, resilience, and strength encourages your people to follow suit. Take a page out of the books of past leaders to help forge the real leadership within you that is so desperately needed right now.

"We — all of us — will be remembered for how we manage ourselves and others through this crisis. How will you, your team, your organization, our society connect, persevere, and progress? How will we emerge from this experience collectively stronger?"

THE BEST BUSINESS BREAKTHROUGHS COME FROM MOMENTS OF DOUBT

@IDEO by Sandy Speicher
9 Minute Read

Coronavirus has clouded the future with doubt and uncertainty. What's certain is that learning how to navigate through a crisis not only tests your capabilities as a leader, but also tests your creative capabilities. Thinking creatively may make the difference in achieving a breakthrough or not. Creative leadership is an effective way to lead right now, and this kind of leadership will be essential in the "new normal" too. Embrace these moments of doubt, because they will help spark the breakthroughs you're searching for while also improving collaboration within your organization.

“Some of the best work comes from some of these hardest times. Confusion, self-doubt, existential searching, getting lost, and then finding your way out of that state of disequilibrium — these are the essential experiences for the emergence of creativity [and leadership].”

APPLYING PAST LEADERSHIP LESSONS TO THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC


@McKinsey by Hugo Bague, Jeff Cava, & Manley Hopkinson
6 Minute Read

"There are managers out there whose stories and experiences of leadership in moments of disruption and upheaval can be instructive."

It is perfectly normal to feel uncertainty and doubt in such trying times. We understand how hard it is, as a leader, to know what to do and not to do under such delicate circumstances. Fortunately, we can look at lessons from the past to help shine some light on how to move forward. This now becomes a test of your effectiveness as a leader — don't allow past mistakes to reoccur, especially in such a time of crisis.

HOW BAD TIMES BRING OUT THE BEST IN PEOPLE

@Harvard Business Review by Bill Taylor
5 Minute Read

"Time and again, individuals and communities have demonstrated that the worst situations tend to bring out the best in people and the organizations to which they belong. In every moment of darkness, it seems, there are countless moments of light — small gestures of compassion and connection that allow people to show who they are, how they want to live, and what matters to them."

"Don't be afraid to let the bad times bring out the best in your company — and in you."

There is always a spark of greatness in you, no matter how challenging times can get. Pressure creates diamonds — in this case, the bad times we face now have to bring out the best in you. What we do in this time of uncertainty and fear will define us going forward: accept the challenge and bring out the best in yourself and your company.

THREE CREATIVE LEADERSHIP MODES BUSINESS LEADERS ARE EMBRACING IN CHINA’S RECOVERY​

@IDEO by Tony Wong
7 Minute Read

As Covid-19 dulls down in China, leaders there are taking great strides towards the recovery of their companies. This article follows the leadership approaches of the Accelerator, the Explorer, and the Optimizer - three varying leadership approaches that have helped Chinese companies respond to the Coronavirus. We hope these examples could serve as models for your efforts in responding to the effects of Covid-19 on your company.

WE NEED IMAGINATION NOW MORE THAN EVER

@Harvard Business Review by Martin Reeves & Jack Fuller
10 Minute Read

A common message is found in most articles that concern managing through the Coronavirus: to survive now and thrive later on, imagination and creativity should be at the forefront of your efforts to respond to the effects of the crisis. It sounds absurd in such a time of crisis, but exercising and applying your imaginative skills, whether individually or collectively, should not be undervalued, because it can make a big difference in how your organization rebounds from the crisis.

"Imagination — the capacity to create, evolve, and exploit mental models of things or situations that don’t yet exist — is the crucial factor in seizing and creating new opportunities, and finding new paths to growth."

BUILD YOUR RESILIENCE IN THE FACE OF CRISIS

@Harvard Business Review by Rasmouth Hougaard, Jacqueline Carter, and Moses Mohan
4 Minute Read

We've all been working non-stop to protect our interests from the clutches of Covid-19, but our efforts have been laced with stress, anxiety, and uncertainty. With so much to attend to at such a critical time, have you stopped to check your mental state? Believe it or not, your mental toughness will be essential to the effectiveness of your responses to coronavirus. And it won't go away as quickly as it came, so prepare for a marathon not a sprint – building your resilience will help you lead effectively as the crisis prolongs.

YOU'RE NOT POWERLESS IN THE FACE OF UNCERTAINTY

@Harvard Business Review by Nathan Furr
5 Minute Read

How adeptly you can respond to the impacts of Coronavirus on your organization depends on your mindset and mental approach. Having the right frame of mind when assessing options is statistically proven to help leaders respond appropriately to moments of crisis. Being heroic is about overcoming the doubt and uncertainty that become obstacles to decision-making — "the only way to become the hero, is to go through the obstacles!" Now more than ever, we need heroic leaders to pave the way for stability, growth, and innovation post-coronavirus.

"[P]art of our capacity to deal with the unknown is innate, a larger portion is learned. Those who develop this “uncertainty capability” are more creative, more successful, and better able to turn uncertainty into possibility.”

HOW TO FOCUS IN A TIME OF CORONAVIRUS CRISIS

@Forbes by Curt Steinhorst
6 Minute Read

"We are in a storm. And when the sound and fury are lashing us from all sides, the only gyroscope we have as leaders and managers is focus – ours, and our people’s. Importantly, putting one’s undivided attention and effort into specific actions that address today’s tumultuous issues is a vital coping mechanism. We not only do better, but we feel better for intentionally focusing on what we can do as opposed to letting ourselves feel battered by the chaos that confronts us."

"Focus is a stabilizing force that leads to insight, innovation, and productivity, and those factors are accelerants for recovery. And, we are all stronger when we have control over some part of a solution, even as we are battered by the wind and water of this 'perfect storm.'"


Leading through the Coronavirus crisis is no easy task, but maintaining and strengthening your focus is crucial. With the proper calmness and clarity, you can lead effectively amidst this crisis. Do you struggle with focus, especially when working from home? If you need to improve your focus click below to read the full guide, written by an expert in managing attention and distraction at work.