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Chapman Consulting MD, Sarah Chapman, talks about leadership during a pandemic

March 29th 2021 By Sarah Chapman | Founder and Managing Director

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the first lockdown in the UK caused by the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the global pandemic and I thought it appropriate/worthwhile taking some time to reflect on the year that we have endured.

Looking back to that day, when we closed the office and began working remotely, who would have thought we would still be practicing that working style a year on, even embracing it.

We had to adapt, and fast.

One year on and now we are all used to remote working or ‘WFM’.  Nevertheless, we are now looking forward to getting back to the office, seeing our colleagues again and not on TEAMS or Zoom, but still perhaps embracing a more flexible working style.

Without doubt, for myself, I enjoy the routine of the office, I love the buzz, the camaraderie and the shared learning and experience and the pace that you only achieve when you’re all there together.  I’ve felt distanced from my superb team, and our valued clients, and I am really looking forward to taking them all out for a massive lunch when the restaurants open again.

We’ve all had difficult things to deal with in life, and my advice to anyone when facing a crisis, is to just take each day as it comes, day by day, you can only deal with what you can deal with at that time.  There is no point worrying about what might happen, or what ifs.

My leadership approach during this pandemic, has been to focus on our Vision, to have clear goals, to retain our integrity even though we have had to deal with difficult situations, to expect the best from people, even though it has been so very hard on them, and they may not feel like they want to deliver their best.  I hope the team can see that I will always support them fully in their role, and together we can find a way around challenges.  I try to find stimulating work with good clients who value the capabilities and qualifications that the team brings to their businesses.  I have tried as well to give more of my time and focus to the team’s personal lives, their interests and needs, and be very aware that this historic and unprecedented time has caused severe anguish and stress for us all.  I am human.  I care.  This will all be over at some stage, and life moves on and business will recover.  Believe it.  Believe in the future, the sun will shine again, and all will be well.

I count myself very lucky indeed to have the support of my fantastic team at Chapman Consulting, and our amazing clients.  And, as we plan to come out of lockdown, and approach the Easter Bank Holiday weekend, let’s all look forward to the Easter break – a time of rebirth and renewal …. in life, business and in the economy.

Here’s to 12th April, 17th May and 21st June, and I’ll see you down the pub – I’ll happily get a round in, and mine’s a large glass of chilled Sauvignon Blanc!

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