In conversation with Prisila, Correspondent, Asia Business Outlook Magazine. Shoaib discussed several facets of his experiences. He emphasized how he navigated global crises, mastered the art of prioritizing tasks during such challenging times and achieved a delicate balance between short-term crisis management and long-term strategy. Additionally, Shoaib shared his insights into the attributes that distinguish crisis leaders, strategies for maintaining excellence in the face of adversity and the pivotal role of financial metrics in effective crisis management.
Shoaib Aslam Syal has around two decades of experience in the Domestic and International (B2B) telecommunication industry across the areas of Strategy, Sales, Business Development, Innovation, Product Development, Budgeting/Forecasting, Information Technology, Project Management, HR, Administration, Customer Services, Service Delivery/ Operations, Solutions, Managed Services and Supply Chain Management.
Recent Global Crisis
Looking back on my career, I've faced my share of crises that have sent shockwaves through businesses worldwide. Among which the notable ones are hyperinflation, supply chain disruptions and of course the curveball known as COVID-19.
Prioritizing Critical Tasks in Crisis
In the thick of these challenges, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but a handful of strategies have consistently helped me navigate through:
1. Practice Situational Leadership: Flexing your leadership style to suit the crisis at hand.
2. Strategic Time Management: Figuring out where the time needs to be spent when, to operate efficiently.
3. Cultivating a Culture of Excellence: Pursuing high standards.
4. EBITDA and PAT Consciousness: Keeping a close eye on the financial health of the company.
5. Having a Contingency Plan: Being prepared for the unpredictable.
According to Deloitte's survey, it turns out that 82% of executives agree that keeping your priorities straight and managing your time with discipline are critical in crisis management.
"Data from the Society for Human Resource Management suggests that 83% of employees appreciate clear and regular communication from their leaders during a crisis."
Balancing Short-Term Crisis Management and Long-Term Strategy
I have come across some valuable insights from the American Management Association suggesting that businesses striking a balance between short-term crisis management and long-term planning are more likely to emerge from crises stronger than before. It is all about keeping it simple: focusing on crisis stabilization and reserving time for strategic planning to stay agile in the face of changing circumstances.
Attributes of Crisis Leadership
In my view, a few essential qualities set crisis leadership apart from leading during calmer times:
1. Decisiveness: Making the tough calls quickly.
2. Clear Communication: Being transparent and straightforward.
3. Empathy: Getting where your team is coming from in stressful times.
4. Adaptability: Being ready to pivot and adapt on the fly.
5. Resilience: Keeping cool under pressure.
6. Vision: Offering direction and hope for the future.
Here is a nugget from the World Economic Forum: 90% of business leaders say that empathy is necessary for crisis leadership.
Focusing on crisis stabilization and reserving time for strategic planning to stay agile in the face of changing circumstances.
Focusing on Excellence amid Crisis Pressure
Ensuring your team keeps delivering top-notch results while navigating a crisis can be challenging. Here are a few tricks of the trade:
1. Need-to-Know Information Sharing: Share crisis details with your team selectively.
2. Regular and Honest Communication: Be open and honest.
3. Support and Resource Offerings: Provide the assistance and resources your team needs.
4. Teamwork and Collaboration Encouragement: Foster collaboration and cooperation.
Data from the Society for Human Resource Management suggests that 83% of employees appreciate clear and regular communication from their leaders during a crisis. Gallup's research even shows that 70% of employees are more engaged when they feel their managers have their back during tough times.
Financial Metrics in Crisis Management
EBITDA (Earnings before Interest, Taxation, Depreciation and Amortization) and PAT (Profit after Tax) are your financial compass, helping you navigate the storm. The help you in:
Data from McKinsey Global Institute shows that focusing on EBITA margins during a crisis can boost your chances of survival and recovery and according to CFO Magazine, a whopping 93% of CFOs rely on PAT to monitor their financial performance when the going gets tough.
By using these strategies and staying tuned in to your financial metrics, you will be well equipped to steer through, while ensuring resilience and sustainable growth.
To sum up our conversation, in our swiftly changing world, it is imperative for everyone, regardless of his or her tech expertise, to stay attuned to technological advancements. Remaining informed, even at a fundamental level, is of paramount importance. Consider the hurdles individuals not yet familiar with smartphones will encounter in this tech-driven age. Technology is all-encompassing; it influences us all. Thus, it is incumbent upon us to remain well informed and adapt to the ever-evolving tech landscape, as it has become an indispensable prerequisite for a seamless future.