Business leaders have their work cut out for them in every sense of the phrase. With the responsibility to drive revenues, ensure shareholder and stakeholder value, and grow and retain employees, business leaders face insurmountable hurdles.

In times of crisis, these hurdles and the need to address them are intensified. As the global pandemic unveils its devastating impact on our socio-economic realities, leaders find themselves caught between the need to act swiftly, but also to make calculated decisions that ensure the sustainability of their business. Striking a balance between the two is a challenge.

In conversation with Patrick Chalhoub, CEO of Chalhoub Group, and Dr Dena Assaf, the UN Resident Coordinator for the UAE, this webinar focused the challenges that lay ahead of businesses in these troubling times and the necessary actions that businesses must take to maintain stakeholder trust, while also ensuring the sustainability of the business.

More specifically, the webinar touched upon:

  • Attributes for successful leadership in times of crisis
  • Outlining stakeholder needs
  • Global expectations from businesses in times of crisis
  • Business sustainability beyond COVID19

What we learnt:
  • In light of the unprecedented challenges we face today, organisational leaders ought to be authentic, transparent, connected with their teams, service providers, communities and government players. All of which will aid leaders to be more compassionate, resilient, and innovative.
  • Some of the key steps that Chalhoub Group took to protect its business and employees include:
    • Implementing work from home policies and providing support to employees affected by the pandemic
    • Providing e-learning for employees to continue to train them with new skills, as the company moved to e-commerce
    • Collaborating with competitors that are facing similar challenges
  • In terms of leadership, Patrick Chalhoub stressed the importance of the following:
    • Honesty
    • Clear and transparent communication
    • Need to ask questions when answers are not available
    • Accepting and learning from mistakes