Leaders. Now is the time. The people you have the privilege and responsibility of leading need you.
This is a leadership moment like we haven’t seen in a long time. Rapid change, uncertainty where it’s all headed and when conditions will return to what we call normal. There’s lots of noise around causing stress, anxiety, fear and some interesting human behaviour.
You and your colleagues are having to work in different and often unfamiliar ways. Teams can’t meet in the same way, offices are being closed for a deep clean, HR has become the go to function for all things Covid 19 and the rules keep changing every day.
This is when leaders earn their salary. The people you have the privilege and responsibility of leading need you. Right now is the time when you serve them. Your approach, your attitude, the messages and signals you send, the direction you set and the values you lead by will be what people remember you by in years to come. For you, the next few months will define your leadership legacy.
What do you stand for?
Of course, the numbers and the results will be under pressure and in most cases, they will suffer. You’ve led through moments of crisis and economic difficulty before, so remember what’s the same and what you know how to do rather than just focusing on what’s different and unfamiliar.
Take a look at your brand and your values. Right now is the time when you will send a very strong message to those who need your leadership. Will that message be that your brand and your values are an advertising hoarding, or just some window dressing and the face you show to the outside world, while the real you is something different?
Will it be that your brand and your values are who you are and now, when times are tough, is the moment when those things become even more important; so important that every choice and decision you make during this crisis will be explicitly informed by what you say you stand for.
Your choice is whether you want to create cynicism or immense pride in your leadership and your business.
Not your first crisis
There have been tough times before. So often, teams perform at their best in a crisis, coming together, focusing on what’s right for the greater good, prioritising brilliantly and getting shit done. Remind yourself and everyone else of the recipe and build confidence in times of uncertainty by focusing on the performance inputs not the result outcome.
At times like this, attaching your confidence to the results alone is only going to make a difficult situation feel harder. Now is the best time to show that performance – doing the things you need to do to get the results you want – matters more than the result right now.
Working from home means more heart is required
For many, there will be times when they are working from home. That doesn’t mean it has to be worse; it’s just different. Yes, there will be a sense of loss of connection for some, but when loved ones are away, there are still things that bind you together; so why should this be any different?
Use this as an opportunity to see how well you can stay connected while not physically together. Speak more often rather than use email; use the technology to keep in touch and keep in touch more often. Call to see how everyone is doing, not just whether they’re doing.
Not a solo pursuit
Chances are you’re on a leadership team. Maybe you’re one of the few teams that has a clear purpose (Why), clear measures of success (What) and a shared commitment to a set of beliefs, behaviours and attitudes (How). Like your brand, now is the time to use those foundations to be the best leadership team you’ve ever been on.
Whether you have those foundations in place or not, maybe you need a short term Why, What and How for your leadership team that’s just focused on the next few months.
Through the lens of Covid 19 – Why does this team exist? What will tell us we’re winning? How do we need to think, what does our attitude need to be, how do we need to behave?
If you can’t change the external conditions, you can still change the internal ones on your team. This is one of the best opportunities to learn whether you want to be a real team; you’re about to find out what sort of team you are.
Look after yourself
The pressure you’re under is going to increase from an already high base. You’re no good to anyone if you don’t care for yourself.
A strong physical foundation is your essential foundation right now. Your nutrition, your sleep, rest and recovery and moving to keep yourself fit to lead really matter right now.
In these conditions, these are not nice to haves when time allows. Looking after yourself so you are fit to lead in a way that makes you proud needs to become a bigger priority.
Self-care is not selfish; it’s what will allow you to do your job and right now. Those you have the privilege of leading need you to be in the best shape you can be.
Look after yourself. And if we can help you right now – get in touch.