Lessons Learned from Leading During Covid

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Leadership is really about guiding a group of people or an organization to get a good result or best possible outcome in an efficient way. In practice, leading can be both challenging and rewarding. I have always loved stepping up and leading.

In 2020, I was the president of the Building Service Contractors Association International (BSCAI) when the pandemic hit. Immediately, I found myself in a position to lead — more specifically, to try and lead the organization through a time of crisis.

Reflecting back on that experience, here are a few leadership lessons that were learned:

1. Leaders must be calm in a crisis. Even while others are panicking, it is the leader who helps keep the ship stable and sets the example of calmness and confidence for others to follow.

2. Leaders are willing to communicate vulnerably when that is what is needed in a particular situation. During the pandemic, no one really had all the answers, and it was important for all of us to be able to communicate that and figure it out together. Our industry came together during that time, when, faced with the challenge, some other industries and associations literally fell apart.

3. Leaders must be able to move quickly without sacrifice to diligent and careful thought. As experts in this industry know, decisions that used to take a year to make their way through the process were now being made in one week. It was a crazy time, but also a time when we learned a lot about ourselves and what we were capable of.

4. Leaders must be willing to step outside their comfort zone. In response to their stewardship responsibility, leaders must be open to do things that have not been done before, or to at least try to do them differently, if it’s for the betterment of the organization. When others are getting tired, as leaders, we must persevere.

5. Leaders must seek (and for many of us, pray for) wisdom, understanding, sound judgment, and discretion. Leading through crisis is no time to be a know-it-all, or to think you have all the answers. It’s a time for vulnerability, asking questions, collaboration, and strategic execution.

BSCAI is an association of leaders. Our members are companies that are leaders in our industry, and those individuals who participate in BSCAI events are the leaders of those companies. We are the best of the best.

All of you did a phenomenal job stepping up during a time of crisis to lead your companies, to serve your customers, to provide safety for your employees, and to be a role model for your families. Congratulations to all of you. And now, as we look around, the association is thriving. We grew through the adversity that our collective situation presented. Relationships within our industry are off the charts, greater and stronger than ever before.

Hopefully, there’s not another crisis around the corner, but history would tell us that it’s just a matter of time. I believe we are well prepared. Our bench is deep. I’m blessed to be a part of it.


Todd Hopkins is the founder of Office Pride, an award-winning, faith-based, commercial cleaning franchise system with 148 franchises in 28 states.  

Article from Cleanlink.com | Posted: 12/11/2023


Written by Todd Hopkins
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About Todd

Todd Hopkins is the Founder of Office Pride Commercial Cleaning Services, and served as its CEO for 30 years.  Office Pride is an award-winning janitorial franchising company and one of the most respected brands in its industry.  Headquartered in Palm Harbor, Florida, Office Pride has 155 franchise locations in 28 states, and is a longtime member of the Franchise Business Review Hall of Fame™ for franchisee satisfaction.     Todd has received some of the cleaning industry’s top awards and recognitions, including in 2022, the BSCAI Industry Leadership Award.

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