By finding the opportunities that can arise out of a crisis, and not making major decisions based on fear, your company can come out of it bigger, stronger and better.
In this episode of “From the Corner Office” Jackie Kibler & Gail Schaper-Gordon speak with Loren Witkin, CEO of Citadel Environmental, Health, and Safety on the topic of maintaining perspective during uncertain times. Having a bit of forewarning about what was coming with the Corona Virus, Loren started planning in March for what things were going to look like and how to maintain business continuity. Being an essential business, things have stayed pretty steady for Citadel as a company. Loren already knew he had a fantastic staff, but during the crisis, he really saw them shine. As health and safety professionals & environmental professionals, they put themselves at risk every day, but the crisis added a whole new dimension, and the staff really pulled through exceptionally for the company. The clients, as well, embraced the changes and made the necessary modifications so it was inspiring to see the resilience of both clients and staff.
Loren’s company has an amazing philosophy…
“Profits are a by-product of what you do. If you focus on the money aspect of it, it’s short term. If you focus on doing what you’re supposed to be doing, doing what’s right, everything else will take care of itself.”stated Loren Witkin, CEO, Citadel EHS
This in turn is what makes their clients loyal, because they are community based and not just focused on profits. Being based in high density environments, such as stadiums and high rise buildings, it is important for Citadel EHS to make people comfortable during these crazy, uncertain times. Their goal is to minimize fear, and bring forward logic, facts, education and communication to the situation. This is done through having a plan, training, follow through, and helping people to endure and manage the changed environment.
Another thing Loren decided to do was to create a video series of about 14 short 5 min videos called “Life and Leadership.” The idea behind creating the videos was to help communicate the idea of perspective to his staff. With the Corona Virus continuing and the rise of civil unrest, Loren decided he wanted to share these interviews on a broader scale to help people to not be so myopic about the current situations, but to try to find some positive things to help them move forward in their personal and professional lives.
The takeaway for Loren is that there are opportunities within these crisis’. Instead of allowing them to dictate and control us, look at the experiences and ask yourself “how are we going to come out of this as a family, as a company or as an individual?” His goal is to come out bigger, stronger and better than how we went into this. As for the future for Citadel, the priorities are to keep people safe and healthy; busy and productive; and to let people thrive. By investing in people and finding new opportunities, you create an environment for them to thrive. As the pandemic continues, the toughest part many companies face is new work coming in. As a company, you need to continue doing what you do, avoid making major decisions based on emotion, and try to keep your eyes open for new opportunities. Staying diversified is one way to try to stay afloat in the future, but also for society and business, look for messages that communicate unity; not the things that divide us, but that unify us.