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32 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Mitchell: When I think of a good leader, you have to do the basic blocking and tackling that we talked about, but a good leader does more. It's a balancing act. It's challenging because it's kind of a lonely position, but at the same time, you need to interact with your team and your entire group—whether it's a team, a business unit, or an entire company, what- ever the scope of your leadership responsibil- ities may be. In that role, you need to exude confidence. You have to show that you believe in a positive outcome, and you have to be a positive leader. If you're always negative or a downer, that's not going to play as well or be as inspirational. You have to find the positive, but you also have to temper that with realism. And in today's world, as leaders go forward, they want to have their organization be a place where talent becomes part of it and offer a fair wage; that's probably number five on the list of important things. Leaders also want to make sure they are doing something impor- tant and that they caught the vision of doing something important. You want to make sure you're contributing to society and taking care of your employees. The aspect of being a good leader by taking care of your employees has become enhanced with what we've seen hap- pening lately. A good leader today has to do all of that stuff they have been doing, and now they need to make sure that their employee feels safe and that their needs are being met. We're focusing on concerns regarding a safe workplace, being able to contribute, etc. It enhances that dimen- sion even more than what we used to do, beyond just, "We have a healthcare plan." No, we actually make sure that, in your environ- ment, we're doing all that we can, and we're listening to what you do as well. That's the other aspect of a good leader that I would point out; you're not isolated to the point where you don't hear the real issues from your team. Matties: As the industry adjusts to the new world realities, this brings new demands and challenges, as you were just keying in on, for business leaders in the environment. What changes, if any, do you already see in the way business leaders are approaching their busi- nesses today and into the future? Mitchell: A lot of the good leader qualities have to just be enhanced. It's about transparency and being willing to call a spade a spade, a nickel a nickel, or whatever it is. Helping your team see and hear the real situation will help them respond. You can be positive about that. Let me just use an example from IPC. We shared that, "It doesn't look like we're going to hit some of the targets we had set out this year, and because of that, we want to change how we work." And what I hear from my staff is that they appreciate that forthrightness—not to be sitting there, ignoring the situation, but saying, "This is not going to be possible the way we envisioned it six months ago. Because of that, we're going to have to change how we act." Be transparent about that sort of thing, and be a good communicator. And it's not just telling; it's also doing. Your actions need to align with those things as well. Your business today becomes even more impor- tant. And into the future, you have to be very responsive. One of the things also that COVID- 19 has provided as an opportunity for leaders today is in the area of innovation. We know things have to change. We hear all about the "new normal." That new normal can also help you say, "I may need to leverage some inno- vation to respond to this." At the same time, that new innovation to respond to COVID-19 can help you solve some other problems that you may have been struggling to invest in pre- viously. You can take advantage of making your organization even better in these circumstances. What I see happening for businesses today in leaders is to find those opportunities where You have to find the positive, but you also have to temper that with realism.

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