We are definitely living through uncharted & historic times. The recent outbreak is proving to be some of the most challenging periods in recent memory. The fact of the matter is, we can only control what we can control. Unfortunately, times like these often expose our greatest weaknesses as a society. That being said, they also offer everyone the opportunity to grow stronger. These are the times where those in leadership roles either prove their worth or crumble in the midst of the catastrophe. While this current crisis has the potential to expose a lot of flawed leadership, it also has the potential to expose the greatness within us all. At the end of the day, this is a battle in more ways than one. Only the strongest leaders will survive. While times like these surely bring about a lot of pain and adversity, they will also help shape the leaders of tomorrow. Credibility is up for grabs in times of crisis. The decisions leaders make now will ultimately decide their long term fate.
1) Take it Serious
The bottom line is, we all dropped the ball on this one. We underestimated the severity of this situation and the impact it is having. So where do we go from here? As effective leaders, it is time to swallow our pride and take the necessary actions advised to us. Thankfully, this choice is now being taken out of most people’s hands due to recent legal restrictions. That being said, it is important effective leaders act as an example through all of this. Make sure you emphasize to your following the importance of abiding by the regulations given. While we may have acted late, we still have the ability to stop the bleeding by doing our part. Make sure you are setting a good example by prioritizing safety over all else.
2) Be the Calm within the Storm
I cannot emphasize this enough. As we have all seen, this crisis is exposing humanity to some of our worst and most selfish qualities. The bottom line is, effective leaders use times like these to prove their true worth and rise above selfishness tendencies. With all the chaos going on around us it is essential that we accept the responsibility of stability by turning off our “fight or flight” response. In other words, effective leaders must remain stable when others are in a panic. Your stability in the storm is essential for the survival of your group and/or business. Understand that these are times where legends are born. If you can successfully, lead-in times like these, you will surely leave your mark and earn a sense of lasting respect.
3) Embrace Innovation
The fact of the matter is, a lack of personal interaction has already become somewhat of a societal norm due to today’s technology. During these times, we have simply created and official word for it, “Social Distancing”. That being said, our future is “social distancing”! More and more schools and businesses are adapting their strategies to include online courses and meetings. Whether we like it or not, it is only a matter of time until this becomes a standard way of operating (if it already hasn’t). Use this time to educate yourself and your team about the ways in which technology is reshaping our daily interactions. Use this time to embrace what you once likely avoided. “Social-distancing” is our new normal so use this time to embrace and adjust so your team can thrive in the future.
4) Self-Assessment & Development
Now is a great time to assess your actions and give yourself a “Leadership Report-Card.” With this extra time to ourselves, we can use it effectively by analyzing what is working and what isn’t. This spare time can be a blessing in disguise if we treat it as such. We now have a chance to look back and realize our mistakes and weaknesses. Perhaps we were making ignorant decisions and/or implementing strategies that were destined to fail. Perhaps without this time to ourselves, we would have never realized it and been able to change for the better. This is also a great time to create direction and purpose in your actions in order to avoid wasted efforts that may have otherwise been implemented. We can also use this time to enhance our own personal foundation and abilities. After assessing our weaknesses we allow ourselves the chance to turn them into strengths. So take some time to read and study-up on other successful people in your field. The bottom line is, we all have an amazing opportunity to come out of this better than we entered it. The lack of time is no longer an excuse. Embrace this blessing and thrive in the future because of it.
5) Check-In and Listen-up
It is so important that we use this time to show our true care and appreciation for our followers. While business operations may be shut down and you may not be interacting with your team on a daily basis, it is important to take the time to reach out and check-in with each individual. Use this time to connect/reconnect with your followers on a personal level. The bottom line is, outside of normal business operations, we all have our personal lives and issues that we face ( likely now more than usual). Effective leaders are the ones who understand this and truly embrace it. We can also use this time to listen to any issues, suggestions and/or criticism from each member of the group. Use this as an opportunity to allow people to get things off their chest. The goal for everyone throughout this process should be to come back more united and stronger. Don’t allow your ego to get in your own way. Show your followers they matter and take their input seriously.