Our everyday has been turned on top of itself, and much of what we thought we knew just isn’t anymore. The days and now weeks tick by, and so do a variety of feelings including fear, anger, frustration or lack of control. Then you realize this isn’t going to pass quickly, and you either let it lead you, or you lean in and lead into it.
There are things we can control when we chose to be a leader. These include your communication style, attitude, ability to be inclusive and an open perspective on what is possible. Looking forward with educated, cautious optimism is a good place to start. When you look backward while trying to get ahead, you will run into walls unnecessarily. Accept what is and begin building on what you do know, what strengths you have in yourself, your team, your structure and your community.
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, you are a leader." ~John Quincy Adams
In times like these, valued employees rise to the occasion and it’s important to focus as much energy as we can in the people we trust with our business operations and client interactions. Understanding your employees' needs, the importance they bring to the entire organization, and how those intersect to create long-term, positive outcomes should be front and center. Training, team building and refocused efforts to keep the members of your organization healthy, safe and appreciated will go a long way.
Now is a great time to acknowledge and work on how, as leaders, we assess and approach challenges. How are creative ideas encouraged, collected and implemented in your business? Many of us have had extra time to rediscover hobbies, take up new ventures and use creativity to stay centered during these uncertain times. Conversations are evolving to shift away from the elephant (virus) in the room, to the light at the end of the tunnel. In anticipation of this, leaders can reflect on potential opportunities, draw on the team’s creative thinking and determine what a new, profitable and productive normal could look like. Same as it ever was is no longer. It’s time to dig into your leadership skills and tap into your biggest asset – your employees. Take a breath, retool for what’s ahead and lean into the future, together.