It’s the new normal. We’ve adapted to working remotely, conference calls on Zoom that look we’re on the Brady Bunch, and to dealing with social separation at the grocery store and Home Depot. Let’s hope it won’t last much longer.
Patrick Lecione shares interesting insight on leadership during such a time as this on a recent podcast with Andy Stanley. While his concepts are focused on organizational leadership I believe you’ll see valuable lessons that can be applied to a station’s relationship with its listeners, advertisers, and donors.
“First, be exceedingly human. By that, I mean that you should demonstrate your concern for the very real fears and anxieties that your people are experiencing, not only professionally and economically, but socially and personally. Even though you don’t have definitive answers to all of their questions, don’t let that keep you from listening to them and empathizing with their fears. And, contrary to conventional wisdom, you should not be hesitant to share your own concerns with your people. They want to know that they can relate to you and that they are not alone in their concerns.
Example: “These are no doubt stressful times, but I hope through a sense of community we can not only survive but come out of this with more connection and support for each other. It reminds me of a great African proverb: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ “ Verizon Media CEO
Second, Lencione says, be persistent. This is not a time to hold back. Send people updates and regular communication, even if there is not a lot of new information and the message is largely personal. No one will look back at this time and say, “my manager was so annoying with all the encouraging e-mails checking in on me.”
When people are isolated, over-communication is more important than ever.
Finally, be creative. Try new things. Call semi-regular video-conference meetings that allow employees to not only talk about work, but to share their experiences dealing with this situation….Crises provide an opportunity for people to come to know one another and establish bonds that will endure long after the crisis is over…Six months from now, you’ll look back and be glad you did.”
I recommend you evaluate how your station can implement these leadership ideas to build messaging about trust and community. We’ll never have more in common than in such a time as this.
“Immunity grows in trusted community and during a crisis Christian radio shines brightest as the trusted source for faith- hope and love. Great days for our message – great days to share good news from the Master.” Dwight Bain
John Frost, consultant and partner in Goodratings Strategic Services, has been an integral influence in the dramatic growth of Contemporary Christian radio, bringing mainstream programming strategies and research principles to help create and develop some of America’s most successful Christian music stations.