Empathy is key to leading a team through crisis – Jim Antonopoulos


BY Sam Davies


6 April 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Following another week of rapidly changing news stories, government updates and more uncertainty, I reached out to Jim Antonopoulos, a fellow designer and friend who’s thoughts on leadership and teams I find extremely interesting and thought-provoking. Jim runs Tank, a strategic design & innovation consultancy. If you aren’t already subscribed to his weekly newsletter I’d definitely recommend signing up here.

We discussed the good and the bad, the evolving situation, adapting to change and leading in uncertain times. One point that came up multiple times was the importance of pausing and taking stock in a situation like this. With best intentions, its easy to get swept up, focusing on next steps and long term plans for your business before taking the time to acknowledge the trauma and anxiety that many people are feeling. This pandemic is going to change the world significantly and we need to take stock of that before rushing forward blindly.

Regardless of the daunting time in front of us, I firmly believe that times of challenge are when evolution happens, especially for small businesses. We discussed for leaders, this is a time to firstly look at yourself; acknowledge your own stress, anxiety and fears, and decide who you want to be in this crisis. This process will be essential to moving forward with resilience, whilst also being empathetic to your team and building a united group of people.

Taking the time to pause will also allow you the time to really think about the future of your business, where you’re going and why. This situation is placing huge challenges in front of people, but also providing us with the opportunity to recalibrate – who do we want to be when we come out the other side?

I hope you enjoy our conversation, I’d love to hear about initiatives that you’re putting in place for your team and how you’re working through this ever-evolving situation.

If you want to subscribe to Jim’s newsletters, find his podcast or one of his courses you can head to MarchFirst – The Learning Academy for Purpose-Driven Leaders and also checkout the great work Jim and his team do at Tank — Strategy & Innovation Consultancy.

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Sam Davies

Sam has been running a Digital Agency in some form or another for almost a decade. He loves the internet and the positive changes it has brought to the world but still loves time away from the glowing cubes. Surf, Fish, Drink, Cook, Laugh….Drink! You can follow him on Instagram @samdaviesdn and on Snapchat @digitalnoir