Ukraine and The Test of Leadership - Dragonproof Podcast Episode 60

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By Miva | March 8, 2022 | 5 minute read



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Some U.S. sellers can expect to experience direct disruptions from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but all business leaders will face the challenge of how to manage operations, teams, and communication against the backdrop of a true international crisis. 

Russia is a major producer of raw materials at the start of many supply chains, generates energy sources like oil and natural gas, and is a key transit route which connects Europe and Asia. As governments and financial institutions around the world institute unprecedented sanctions to stop Russia’s war on Ukraine, all of these systems will be impaired. Most U.S. business have limited direct exposure to the region and Russia’s exports (around .07% of U.S. imports are from Russia), but ripple effects like increased inflation, higher gas prices, and tertiary manufacturing breakdowns might touch even the most “self-contained” businesses worldwide.  

In addition to these practical impacts, U.S. retailers will also be affected by the psychological and emotional effects of the crisis. Even when they are not living in areas directly affected, consumers are experiencing relentless coverage of the event, which can in itself create real emotional trauma. Internal work cultures may also reflect this increased stress and anxiety.   

This, Miva CEO Rick Wilson says, is where the leadership challenge for U.S. business owners lies. 

“What really is the right response in a situation like this is sober situational awareness. When you're talking to your team, your customer, or representing your company out in the world, you don’t want to panic, nor pretend that the crisis isn’t happening. Neither is helpful.” 

As the knock-on effects of the war are still unknown and utterly out the control of independent sellers, companies should start by focusing internally. Opening a staff dialogue with how the Ukraine story directly connects with the business (or doesn’t) can help set context and lead into a deeper conversation about workers’ fears.  

A company culture’s psychological health - a crucial component of a healthy business - will make its way to the customer in the form of more confident teams and more effective shopping experiences. Ultimately, the ongoing stability of ecommerce businesses and continued ease of acquiring essential goods will act as powerful positive signals to an already wary public. 

Rick explores these ideas and offers advice for business leaders on the new episode of the Dragonproof Ecommerce Podcast - listen here. 

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Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.

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