SCORE Column: Leading during a time of crisis

Tips include a reminder to keep it simple as businesses navigate unprecedented times during the coronavirus crisis.

An overhead view of work desk with a cup of coffee, newspaper with SCORE logo on top.
As a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE - which offers free business mentoring and education — notes the organization has helped more than 11 million entrepreneurs through mentoring, workshops and educational resources since 1964. The nonprofit SCORE was previously known as the Service Corps of Retired Executives.<br/><br/><br/>
Contributed / Metro Newspaper Service

Leadership in a crisis. And the crisis is here.

What every leader should be asking at this time, “Am I doing the right things to keep the company viable and come out of this crisis stronger.“

By now you’ve battened down the hatches. It’s time to look forward. Keep in mind, your stakeholders want you to survive and grow. You have the sole responsibility of leading your organization to success.

Follow the KISS principle -- Keep It Simple Stupid. This is a national crisis. You are not to blame for what happened. That said, some recommendations:


This is a critical imperative. Your employees, customers and vendors are under pressure, too. Keep the messages short, positive and believable.


Maintain self discipline

There will be confusion. There will be many suggestions from a lot of people, all well-meaning. You have a plan, work it and only make adaptations when you see the need.

Be creative

This is a wonderful time for you and your key people to thoroughly review your operating process, from vendor to customer.

Learn and understand the disaster assistance

The Small Business Administration, and our state government, especially the Department of Employment and Economic Development, have posted details.

Use local resources

There is a lot of talent to be tapped locally. Most, if not all, are free. Here is a partial list. SCORE, Small Business Development Center, Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp., Women’s Business Alliance, The Initiative Foundation, the chamber of commerce.

Check their websites and see what they offer. These are demanding times. This is a unique situation for all of us. It’s especially frustrating, because, while you’re not the cause, you are paying the price. Who better than you to work your organization through this crisis. SCORE is here to help.

Dick Jordan, Central Minnesota SCORE, Brainerd Branch, may be reached at 218-251-4413 or

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