Leading Through Chaos

  • Category: Running Your Business

When chaos is upon us, some leaders step in to fill the void. They act from strength, compassion and bravery.

An email from such a leader—the head of a niche consulting firm—was forwarded to my in-box and I felt compelled to share it with you.

I’m calling them “The Good Guys Firm” (I also deleted a few identifying lines).


…We must continue to be of value in whatever area we can. This includes being a support to our clients on a very personal level. The entire World is suffering the same outcomes, and my hope is that The Good Guys Firm can be a beacon of hope during this time.

In order to ease some of your concerns, I wanted to provide an update on what The Good Guys Firm is doing to minimize our financial strain. My goal is to continue to work with our executive team to reduce costs internally which will have little to no impact on each of you individually. We are not planning on mass layoffs, globalized sabbaticals, or reductions in benefits at this time.

As a family, The Good Guys Firm deserves to get through this together, and I will make sure we conduct business in this manner so long as financial avenues are available to us. The loyalty of many of you offering portions of your own salaries to help us through this epidemic has been inspiring, and it is a good reminder of the love and dedication we have towards one another.

Thank you for those kind notes and sentiments; however, in the spirit of full transparency, I have approached our Board of Directors and we are collectively contributing to the cause which has created a significant positive gap in our expenses and anticipated income. This action along with our yearly projected profit will provide us with some significant flexibility for the remainder of the year.

I ask you to concentrate on your families. Play board games, read books, stay connected, and have a class or four of wine. Allow me to carry your financial worries and control what you can individually control right now. We will all come out of this at some point and sticking together is the exact energy that we need.



Imagine being a consultant in such a firm and receiving this—especially the final paragraph—while you’re wondering how long you’ll have a job.

This leader could have simply waffled, sending out platitudes and asking for patience. But he didn’t. He reassured his team and spent some of his own money to do it.

Sure, they have the financial resources to do this, unlike many. But that’s because they always looked to the long-term and made sure they had adequate reserves when the inevitable downturn came.

And when’s the last time you saw a CEO memo signed “love”?

Leadership and humanity in action.

The takeaway? The way we lead right now is to watch out for the people we serve—clients and those who rely on us for their livelihood. And do the next right thing.