The COVID-19 crisis has been a test of management and leadership. Recent weeks have seen business leaders grappling with the dramatic upheaval to normal business operations and the corresponding changes to managing people and maintaining productivity. But as companies emerge from shelter-in-place, the question of “what does it take to lead a business through the recovery phase?” is on every leader’s mind.

Recently Egnyte co-founders Vineet Jain and Rajesh Ram, along with Matt Murphy from Menlo Ventures, sat down to discuss how winning companies can navigate today’s new reality. Here are five key takeaways from these leaders on leading confidently over the coming months.

Top left: Rajesh Ram, Top right: Vineet Jain, Bottom, Matt Murphy

Be agile

Having weathered the initial shock of the fast-moving pandemic crisis, many leaders are now utilizing their recent experiences to reimagine the world of work. For them, new working practices like a more remote and distributed workforce will be the norm as they evaluate the future role of the office.

Staying agile and prepared for any eventuality depends on enabling a mix of in-person and remote working for the foreseeable future. That means utilizing more digitization and automation to make it easier and more efficient for people to connect, collaborate, and stay productive – no matter where they are located.

Recalibrate for the new norm

Thriving and surviving in an uncertain world means recalibrating fast to the new reality. With the pressure on to conserve capital, leaders are evaluating on a week-by-week and quarter-by-quarter basis how revenue will stand up and then sizing their operations in line with these predictions. But while cautious retrenchment is a great strategy, it’s not the only game in town.

Many leaders are already hunting down new opportunities that are emerging in the light of recent events. In the process, they are stealing a lead on competitors that are focusing solely on cost-saving.

Others are waiting patiently to see how market demand evolves, adapting their market models in line with what the data analytics tell them, rather than diving in and over-rotating too fast.

Capture the talent opportunity

With so many organizations looking to retrench, one thing is for sure: there has never been a better time to pounce on the specialist expertise that was previously in short supply. Smart leaders will be looking to hire some of the great talent that is now available on the market – talent the business will need to fuel future growth plans.

Data governance is king

Companies large and small have had to adapt at pace to remote working. It’s a move that has changed the conversation about data security as organizations realize that it’s no longer just about protecting data on-premise or in the data center itself. Because now your data and your employees are everywhere – and that has profound implications for the enterprise.

Leaders want to be certain they have visibility and control of their data and be confident they can secure it wherever it is, so that only the right people can access it at the right time.

Leave no one behind

Great leaders have great empathy with the people they lead, and that is especially critical when so many are working remotely. Instituting regular virtual “Town Hall” style meetings will be vital for keeping the workforce motivated and engaged, and management teams will benefit from expanded support and communication, as well.

The key to success depends on sharing the reality and providing certainty and clarity – along with a clear narrative of what the future holds.

Hear more from Vineet, Rajesh and Matt in the on-demand webinar of their executive roundtable here.

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