How Leaders Can Lead from the Front – By Video


With today’s coronavirus crisis, standing in front of your team is not only nearly impossible but also unsafe. But your team needs to hear from the leader and video is a great substitute. Here are some simple steps to leading with video.

The most powerful place for a leader to lead from the front is standing before his or her team, delivering a message. Some leaders hate doing it – and don’t do it. Of course, there are other ways to lead. And most times, they can work well. But when your team is afraid or when they are confronted by a difficult challenge, they want to look into the eyes of their leader. It’s human nature.

Video is a great substitute and incredibly easy to do. If you do it, you will be rewarded by your team. If you don’t, your team may feel more nervous, be less committed, and, ultimately, less effective. Demonstrated leadership at this time is required!

Take Fred Cuda of The Blake Group, headquartered in Connecticut with 13 locations across the northeast. He’s a quiet leader but knew he needed to amp up his leadership for the sake of his team and his company. At this link is his first-ever video, which he sent out to his team on March 20. Watch it. You’ll agree that he’s not likely to win an Oscar nomination, but he wasn’t shooting for that. His team knows him and felt the authenticity of the message.

The sense of vulnerability gave them comfort. Cuda has continued recording these videos daily and is getting messages back that his team of over 200 people appreciate them and are looking forward to them each morning. Daily videos are amazing but recording once or twice a week is great too.

Some simple tips

  • Think about how your audience is feeling
  • Think about how you want to change that feeling
  • Acknowledge how they’re feeling (put a voice to their emotions)
  • Give them a few reasons to feel differently (some hope, evidence)
  • Be yourself, fully authentic and open
  • Keep it short, 3 minutes is plenty
  • Just do it. Don’t worry if you don’t look smooth! It will get easier with each one

Another client just did a great job as well, Ben Pinnell with Hickory Construction in Tennessee. He used Vimeo on his phone (super easy) and shared it with his team. This is his first use of video as leader of the firm. Watch it. We like Vimeo because it has many options to manage the sharing of a given video. Recoding with Zoom (or similar video-call programs) is easy too.

Start leading from the front. Cuda and Pinnell weren’t excited about doing videos for their teams, but they did anyway because they felt it was good for the company. You can do it too.

Don’t make it complicated. Don’t wait for marketing to help you figure out what to say. Don’t think of it as a performance that requires practice. Don’t give yourself time to get self-conscious. Just do it and don’t look back.

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