Leadership in Challenging Times. 5 things Boss can do during the Movement Control Order period.


Today marks the second day of the Movement Control Order as announced by the government.  While you might be worried about the impact it has on our businesses and jobs, the fact that Taiwan is also going for a lockdown soon shows that it may be a necessary measure for our country to avoid further damage, and more importantly, to protect the lives and health of our loved ones.

Instead of worrying about what will happen next and, as many of our clients have asked, what will happen to my business now and in the future, it is VITAL that at times like these the leader of the business stays calm and composed.

Having coached many companies and business professionals over the last 10 years on leadership and personal development, I find that the leader’s mindset plays a big role in handling situations like these.  Just like in a plane when the oxygen mask drops down, the first thing a person should do before helping others is to put on one’s own mask.  The same should go for your business, as your staff and customers are all looking up to you for your leadership and direction.

So, here are five simple yet important things you can do each morning to get that early morning boost of energy and to make that commitment to yourself and your business.  The first four tips get the leader right and the fifth tip gets the team right, with good implementation.


1.        Wake up 15 minutes earlier.

                We are all not used to this movement control order and it is very easy to sleep in a little longer since you don’t really need to go to work, at least not technically.  However, this could easily translate into loss of energy and productive time in the morning, as you can clearly see from the posts and comments of people on Facebook yesterday (common topics were around the themes of “ what to eat today ah?”, “ good time to watch Netflix”, etc. – you get the gist).

                So, for goodness sake, wake up 15 minutes earlier.  It will mean you will probably be doing better than more than 95% of the people in this country!

2.        Have a good breakfast.

                You don’t need me to tell you how important a nutritious breakfast is for boosting your energy in the morning, do you? Without the morning Nasi Lemak and Teh Tarik, there is a good chance you can have a nutritious breakfast and spend quality time with your loved ones whom you usually would otherwise have no chance to meet in the morning. 

My small piece of advice: No phones on the table please. Savour that precious 20 minutes of breakfast and quality family time. This will not only give you that powerful energy and motivation from your loved ones, but also set yourself right to go full swing into your work at home without any feeling of guilt.

                P.S.: For me, a good cup of morning coffee is a must.

3.        Dress up.

                Don’t try to work in your pyjamas. Maybe nobody sees you in those, but you see yourself, and the mood is totally different. 

                Change into a smart casual outfit before the start of worktime. Maybe a tie and a jacket is not necessary, but wear something that is smart and tidy. The principle is to dress in something that you can confidently show up in during a virtual web meeting with clients feeling good.

                Psychologically speaking, dressing more professionally will boost your energy and confidence, and help you make better decisions throughout the day.  So, give it a try!  A side benefit is that your other half and kids will also know you are in “working mode” and give you your needed time and space.

4.        Read for 30 minutes in the morning.

                How would you like to have an extra 28 hours to use? Well, now you have it!

                As we can’t commute to our workplaces during these 14 days, the time saved from the travelling and traffic jam can easily save us one to two hours everyday. Multiply that by 14 days and you get an extra 14 to 28 hours to use. The question is, how would you use these extra hours?  Sleep? Facebook? Netflix? Or make yourself more valuable?

                Take 30 minutes to read in the morning if you can.  Here are 2 books I am reading that you can give a go if you are looking for recommendations, but feel free to read whatever that is relevant to you.

1.《No.CEO》 - Datin Yap Shin Siang

2.《How to Win Friends & Influence People》 - Dale Carnegie 

                And if you really are not a reader, there are also audiobooks, podcasts and such that you can make use of to get the mental vitamins.  You can google some quotes or watch some TedTalks too.  In any case, make that 30 minutes count, and no Facebook please, my friend.

5.        Hold a DAILY HUDDLE.

                If you do the above four things, you will feel like a superhero by around 9am, and you can then pass on this torch of energy to your team or company with the DAILY HUDDLE.

                Daily Huddle is a daily ritual that can be as short as 20 minutes in the morning to achieve the following benefits:

·         Uplift team spirits

·         Highlight important tasks

·         Increase team productivity

·         Ensure team focus are on the right things

Here is a simplified agenda to help you get started if you have not done it before. I am assuming a 15-minute team huddle time frame, however you may adjust it based on your needs.

·         [2min] Good news

       Never never start with the sentence “So, what is the problem yesterday that we should talk about?”

       Share good news from yesterday such as a sales order won, a customer compliment, collection received, etc.

·         [3min] Yesterday To-do updates

       Go around the table to allow each person to report on the to-do status from yesterday.

       Refrain form diving into those that are ‘NOT DONE’.  Just mark them down for later.

·         [8 min] Today’s Main highlights

       Highlight important key things to achieve today by the team. Keep it to a maximum of 3 things.

       If there is still time, discuss some important To-do’s that have not been done.

·         [2min] Recap and Summarise

       Restate today’s main objectives and to-do list.

       Cheer everyone up again with a closing story or quote.

Do leave me a comment after you have tried it out or if you have any questions on how to run this daily huddle. I will be glad to answer any questions that you may have. 

So, here are the five things you can do to make it through these 14 days with high spirits and productivity. Give it a go and let us know how it has worked for you! 

Before I end, I’d like to share with you this inspiring quote I found today during my morning reading. 

“When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.”

-         Henry Ford

All the best and stay positive!

Coach Jeff Lim, YYC Advisory Director

19 Mar 2020, 9AM

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