Despite losing a significant amount of revenue from Covid-19-related restaurant closures, Mainstreet Bakery is doing relatively well financially. A key reason for this is COO Stacy Demskie’s perspective how to lead during these incredibly uncertain and surprising times.
“Be flexible. Focus on the good. Focus on the opportunity. What can we take out of this? And really lift everyone up,” Demskie says. “Life is full of challenges but 2020 has just been overwhelming with them and what I found to be helpful is really to focus on our opportunities. I also try to be that community leader as well, asking where can we help? Who can we partner with? And what can we do for our employees to keep them safe and healthy, focus on the good and just be grateful we’re all here.”
Another point she raises is how employers provide something missing in most peoples’ lives today. “Just having the normalcy of getting up in the morning and going to work. That’s what we do best. That’s what we know. And being able to give that to employees is really important. A lot of people long for that normalcy even though they’re [afraid]. That normalcy is purpose,” Demskie says during this week’s One Take interview. which can be viewed on YouTube or listened to/downloaded from either Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
One Take CEO Interviews are independently produced by former Twin Cities Business Editor in Chief Dale Kurschner to provide viewers and listeners with unscripted, unedited discussions on how Minnesota CEOs are leading during the Covid-19 pandemic and its unprecedented impact on their operations, and the economy. The first episodes are recorded home-to-home via Zoom, due to then-required “work from home” rules.
The CEO interviews are sponsored by Platinum Group, Minnesota’s most experienced advisory group helping business owners and leaders with extreme challenges including financial setbacks, lender and landlord re-negotiations, turnarounds and bankruptcies. Kurschner is one of its consultants.
Complimenting this series are interviews with key members of Platinum Group. This week’s is with Partner Bill English, who specializes in conflict resolution, leadership assessment and development, and interim CEO assignments (he’s currently serving as interim CEO at in-home health care company Accurate Home Care). English also is a licensed psychologist, an adjunct professor and a successful entrepreneur who started a software training company in his basement and grew it to $9 million in revenue and 65 employees.
One issue English says he’s raising with all of his clients right now is whether they’re providing adequate benefits relative to how many hours a week most of their employees are working during Covid-19-related work slowdowns.
“Take a look at how you define who gets on your benefits role. You may be a company where you’re only operating at 50 percent capacity and that doesn’t allow most of your employees to participate in your benefits,” he says. “Run a cash flow analysis of your benefits costs, and whether at 50% whether you can afford to lower some of your benefits thresholds to make sure those employees are taken care of. If not they may find full-time employment elsewhere.”
One Take CEO Interviews Copyright 2020 Kurschner Media