Bill Simmons – Leading Your Staff Through Times of Crisis (Webinar Summary)

April 15, 2020

By Russ Debenport

Bill Simmons, President and CEO of American Leprosy Missions, led a recent Accord Network webinar on April 14, 2020 in which he shared lessons he’s learned about how to care well for staff during crises. Bill draws inspiration from another time of hardship in his life; the difficult decision to lead a retail book distributor through Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the economic crisis of 2008. The story of transformation taught Bill that no matter how bad things may look, you can still survive the situation and come out stronger. 

Simmons believes the most important aspect of caring for staff during the COVID-19 pandemic is providing good communication. His advice:

  • Disburse truth widely. People need to know the truth and understand reality. 
  • People can manage the truth much better than managing misinformation.
  • Fear and uncertainty call for more communication and more truth. 

At American Leprosy Missions, they’re also putting some limits on collaboration so staff can stay balanced and give proper time to their families and communities. Because online meetings are pervasive and can creep into every part of the day, Simmons has asked for no Zoom session to be scheduled after 1pm. He is also promoting a spirit of grace and mercy across the staff as everyone is struggling to adapt to the demands of COVID-19. As Simmons puts it, “No one is really bringing their best selves right now. It’s time to allow people to be human.” 

NEXT: Please join Accord for our upcoming webinar with Bill Haley – Self Care for Leaders in Times of Crisis.  Register here

Categories: COVID19,Leadership,Spiritual Formation,Webinars

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