Philie Group Blog

The Need for Effective Leadership in a Crisis
By Mike Philie

Leading is not a sometimes thing. As you work to transition your business, the strength and consistency of your leadership has never been more important. Your stakeholders are depending on you to chart a path forward. While the adversity and uncertainty in the marketplace certainly create headwinds, you and your team will be counted on to lead the way.

Look Outward

You should consider external and internal stakeholders in your approach. As you look outward, you have customers, partners, suppliers, lenders and your professional network, all looking to see where you’re going to take the business and how you’ll get there. They all have a vested interest in your success and will help you along the way.

Twists and Turns Ahead

Your dedicated internal staff has been tirelessly working throughout the downturn. They are loyal and want nothing but success for the organization. In addition, they have issues of their own to contend with. Many are being challenged with school-age children in and out of schools and with virtual learning. Some have spouses who have been furloughed or are under employed. And, you may have a few that are suffering financial hardships like they’ve never seen before. They are all counting on the success of your plan. It’s important that you instill the confidence and share the ideas in your path forward. Be realistic, as it won’t be perfect. Let them know that there will be twists and turns throughout the recovery. It will not simply be a straight line to better times.


As you identify the key pillars to focus on within your organization, they should include your people, the financial strength and recovery of the business, operational excellence, and your overall market presence.

Focus on the Core

Help your team stay focused on the core vision and overall direction you’ve mapped out and articulated. They need to be reassured that they’re all doing this for the right reasons and that you’ll need their help if the business is to thrive again.


The financial strength and recovery of the business is crucial. The senior team should understand the levers they have at their disposal that will make a positive impact on the business, and the timelines they have to work with. This has not been an easy time for anyone — an unprecedented time in our lives.

Adjust your Expectations

Now is the time to be working on improving your operational excellence throughout the business. Start at the front door and finish with the back door. What can you be working on to increase productivity by working smarter, by minimizing touches, by decreasing unplanned and planned waste and production time overruns. These need to be on the forefront of your senior team with a plan, expectations and timelines in place.


A company’s market presence has always been an important key to driving growth and sustainability. One focus now should be on your existing clients and how to maintain the work you have as well as presenting new ideas to increase your wallet share. The traditional methods that you’ve used for new business development will be challenged and will face an awakening. The sales team needs to establish and modify their strategies for a new world. As a leadership team, you should provide the right tools, set the expectations, and beat the drum to find ways to improve all the time.


Show up every day, and ask what can you do better today than what you did yesterday. Make an impact, make a difference, lead. Your company is counting on you.


I welcome any thoughts or questions, please add them below or reach out to me directly.


Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic counsel, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at, LinkedIn or email at


This blog originally published in Printing Impressions.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *