Get Off The High Horse – Mr Founder

    No more can an entrepreneur, Founder or a leader boast of driving the organization alone. No more is any Founder heard saying how he alone makes the decisions and delivers profits for the business. Yes – leadership styles have changed and so have the approaches to leadership. Because the Pandemic has brought with it an immense tide of change. Immense changes are being experienced, seen and made on both the personal & professional fronts.

    For businesses and organizations scrambling to cope with change, it is essential to action their plans with clarity, precision and focus. The Pandemic has impacted personal and professional lives for everyone – bringing enormous change. To respond to the changes , businesses will have to act with focus and decisiveness. The actions that they take now in responding to the changes will decide the future of the business. How leaders think, engage, analyze, respond – this will shape our collective futures. But – they will have to realize that they cannot do it alone. They will need to get off the high horse and face facts – they need to team, they need to delegate and they need to empower.

    Globally, as business leaders face increasingly novel and complex business challenges, they are coming to realize that nothing in their previous experience has prepared them for this – prior experiences may not be enough to successfully navigate through these extraordinary Pandemic-wrought dire circumstances. Now, more than ever, leadership by nature will have to become a more inclusive, empathetic, democratic and active function. Leaders will need to realize that a collective, inclusive effort is the only thing that will work. Admitting this fact is absolutely necessary for business continuity.  

    Against this backdrop, organizations are keenly scoping the leadership basics which can drive resilience, nimbleness and flexibility to face the changes. The crucial thing now is that leaders should be able to drive organizations in the complex set of circumstances. This will call for a blended style of leadership with elements of toughness, empathy, team-drive and inclusiveness. No longer can CEOs, Entrepreneurs and Founders sit on the high horse and issue dictate terms: they have to roll up their sleeves, get their hands dirty, innovate and work with their team – every step of the way. 

    Put together A Team:

    Get senior people in the organization to form an action team – they have been around long enough to build and drive an agenda. They can help to laydown processes, restart work and achieve coordination out of chaos. Moreover, they are aware of the innate workings of the organizations, they know the systems well – hence they can help to draw up roles for each team member and also put them through scenarios where they can respond. These responses can be further discussed and feedback incorporated. Present the teams with real-life scenarios of business continuity and immediate issues at hand. Let the senior team ideate along with the others on how everyone can contribute. Chances are, as a leader, you may come away with some ideas that could actually be usable. Maybe after some tweaking, but usable. Empowering your senior team will pay off in the long run – they will form the base of your actual strategy for business continuity.

    Try Doing Things Differently :

    The new normal has brought forth new dimensions – lockdowns being relaxed, remote working, virtual meetings and work from home are the trends. Thus companies will need to be flexible and open in their approach – trying different ways to cope effectively to the crisis and business requirements. One such example is set by as they started with partners platform to offer payoneer coupon code along with other benefits to partners in the ecosystem. There will be a situation of team members collaborating but at a distance (whether in or outside office), titles taking a backseat, flexible roles and newer profiles. As teams are given more freedom to operate and respond to situations, they will soon start coming up with suggestions to deal with issues at hand – the organization will become more flexible and resilient. Founders will be surprised to see the change – it is the same team that earlier worked in a hierarchical structure: now responding in an agile, flexible and innovation-driven environment.  

    Institute An Inclusive Approach :

    The days when the leadership function did not involve participation, are gone. The ongoing Pandemic situation is dire and the new normal calls for a different approach by leaders. An inclusive approach that involves the team members in planning and execution, can be a core component of the action plan. This will build a collaborative culture in the firm and help to sustain the business. Include the team by telling everyone that they have a personal stake in the longevity of the business – seek their participation in working hard towards business continuity. The major benefit of the inclusive approach is that it will help in team-building. These relationships will serve to benefit the organization in the long run. The well-knit team will be better at driving business, delivering on agendas and will be of help in faster decision making, proper feedback and multiple views of issues at hand, and democratization of authority. 


    These are extraordinary times for businesses and leaders have to come to terms that they will need to let go – of power, authority, and ego. They will truly need to become one of the team and work with them to realize the organizational goals. Consequently, when the storm has been weathered and goals achieved, the team will genuinely appreciate the stand that leaders took. It is imminent and the sooner Founders embrace a participative, inclusive style, the better. So, Get off the High Horse, Mr Founder!

    Swapan Dholakia is a senior Communications and Trade Advocacy professional. His current interest areas are trade diplomacy and leveraging Communications to impact society & audiences at large.

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