The Covid diaries: Day 20 - Follow the leader

The Covid diaries: Day 20 - Follow the leader

14th April 2020

A daily fly-on-the-wall blog about running a legal business during the Covid-19 crisis.

By Dónall Breen - 14 April

Follow the leader.

As we emerge from the long weekend, there have been two things I've reflected on during my staycation.

How much I hate gardening (after attempting it for about an hour in the blazing* heat). Keeping myself alive is enough responsibility without adding in needy greenery.

How the present situation is straining leadership, no matter what industry you are in.

[*Note for non-UK readers: "blazing" heat in the UK generally means anything over 20C/70F. On the weekend it got to 25C/77F, so practically the Sahara].

On point 2 specifically, I caught up with a few friends from home and we all had different stories to tell about how work is going. Some generally praised their employer in how they've responded. Others have had a worse time - many simply felt abandoned. A few friends have their own business and and are employers themselves. They talked about how they simply don't know what to do a lot of the time.

To furlough, to not? To bring up performance, or to let it slide right now? To try to maintain the status quo, or accept things are different and change?

The problem is that this is hard. Like, really hard. Imagine a premier league football (soccer) manager suddenly having to deal with all the players switching position. And they are now playing volleyball.

But that doesn't mean the task is impossible. There is an element of everyone needing to step up to the mark. It doesn't matter if you are junior, senior, a law firm or a corporate. The challenges are different but the attitude needs to be the same - flexible and resilient.

That is as true for leaders as it is for the team. I always found that people do as you do, not as you say.

Easier said than done of course, but I think the point stands.

If you would like to read our Covid diaries starting from day 1 please click here.