By Andrea K. Hammer
Watching the new administration hit the ground running and make progress in a short time has prompted thoughts about effective leadership and business management. Like skilled business managers overseeing the goals of a new but highly qualified team, the current administration has set the tone for achieving the best possible results through well-planned and coordinated efforts.
Here are some of the effective leadership and business management lessons gleaned from the new administration:
- Complete advance planning: Instead of waiting to develop and establish goals and guidelines on the first day, extensive work was completed well in advance to have policies in place. This key to building a solid foundation has saved critical time in crisis management and allowed immediate focus on the pressing issues.
- Communicate consistent and honest messages: One good reminder for best business practices evolved from the administration’s repeated position about answering questions honestly. Several members have stated openly when information was not available or unknown, with assurances that details would follow.
- Convey respect through punctuality or apologies for delays: From the president to the press secretary, the proper handling of this issue signaled that others’ time is considered valuable. As a welcome change, apologies were actually extended for any delayed appearances, and other notifications were issued before sessions were scheduled to begin.
- Allow space for disagreement and discussion: Instead of trying to stifle different viewpoints forcefully, the administration has recognized that opposing ideas are acceptable. Several comments on this subject have alluded to the process of exchanging ideas before arriving collectively at a final decision.
- Create an atmosphere of calm: Instead of encouraging destructive actions in response to hot-button issues, the new administration has maintained composure even while facing challenges. As an extension of the policy that disagreements are acceptable, the civil, rational and respectful approach to differences has created a highly valued atmosphere.
- Set tangible, realistic and well-defined goals: From mask mandates to vaccination goals in the first 100 days, the administration has created manageable goals that can be achieved. The specific and concrete targets eliminate a never-ending or fuzzy timeline, which encourages greater support and participation.
- Keep your word: Promises to share updates have followed like clockwork. Following through on actions exactly as indicated–and commitments including unwavering plans to deliver economic relief–have gone a long way toward building trust.
- Provide accurate information: With a mantra of following science and actual findings from research studies, the new administration has modeled the value of a fact-based approach. Reliable information, presented from independent sources, allows others to draw their own dependable conclusions.
- Avoid white-washing problems: Instead of trying to sweep difficulties or failures under the rug, the new administration has openly stated the challenges involved in solving the pandemic and economic crises. This position has prepared everyone to deal with actualities instead of creating false expectations.
- Tackle one issue at a time: In the face of handling multiple problems, the new administration has remained laser focused on addressing the pandemic. When possible, another single issue has been selected as the point to address each day.
- Build trust: As the outcome of all of the previous steps, this condition is only possible when truthfulness prevails. As one of the most sacred words in the English language, this increasingly rare quality hinges on true integrity.
- Establish a down-to-earth, genuine and empathetic connection: For families and friends in the midst of grieving, a humane connection has helped during the mind-boggling losses suffered during the pandemic. Recognition of all the sacrifices made during lockdowns has conveyed a genuine level of understanding, decency and humanity.