What I’m present to today is that what we’re currently dealing with is not a sprint but a marathon.
The world won’t go back to normal next week and neither will your job. I’m now keenly aware of that.
Many of us will be working remotely for a while, business will slow and projects will be canceled or delayed.
Stress and fear will continue to linger in our organizations and communities.
So I thought about how to support you best this week and decided to start talking about how to prepare for what’s to come.
This is a time where your leadership is called for.
It’s a time in which your words, actions, and behaviors will have a huge impact on others and greatly influence how well your team navigates this situation.
This means that you carry a lot of responsibility and weight on your shoulders. It also means that this is the time to get the support you need to do your job well and be the best leader you can be for your team.
Now, the one specific skill I want to talk to you about today is RESILIENCE.
Resilient leaders are those who can keep up their energy level under pressure and can successfully cope with and adapt to disruptive changes.
The good news is that just like any other leadership competency, resilience can be learned.
In fact, here are four specific and simple ways you can strengthen your resiliency starting week.
1) Lead with your head AND with your heart
In everything you do during this crisis, express empathy and compassion for the human side of the upheaval.
For example, acknowledge that personal priorities have shifted away from work to being concerned about family health, accommodating extended school closures, and worrying about financial uncertainty.
DO: Ask your team members how they’re feeling and refrain from adding to their possible worries and fears. Make sure they feel heard and understood while you’re remaining composed.
2) Demonstrate calmness
Adopt a calm and methodical approach to whatever happens. Staying calm will help you observe and manage your thoughts and catch them when they start to be driven by fear… because as we know, fear prevents clear thinking.
When you’re calm, you gain better clarity on what needs to happen next.
DO: Be mindful of how much time you spend watching and reading the news. You should absolutely be informed through reliable sources but that does not mean to be at the effect of the media’s desire for your attention.
DO: When you notice yourself feeling worried, take a deep breath and focus on something you CAN control. For example, which clients can you call? Which team members need your attention? Which strategies and plans need to be revisited? etc.
3) Nurture positivity
Cultivate a positive mindset. Yes, our brains have an innate tendency to identify and focus on threats but we can also consciously choose to strengthen certain thought patterns over others.
I like to say that it’s like holding a magnifying glass and you’re the one choosing whether you’re using it to look at the “bad stuff” or you’re using it to look at the “good stuff”.
DO: Throughout the day, remind yourself and others about the positive things that are happening all around us, whether related to this time of crisis or not. As an example, I’m constantly reminding myself how awesome it is to spend so much time with my kids and to see how much they’re bonding as siblings right now.
DO: Also, every crisis brings along opportunities. Look for them and seek them out. Maybe it’s an opportunity to fix internal processor systems. Maybe it’s an opportunity to connect with old and existing customers on a personal level. Or maybe it’s an opportunity to pivot the business and make your offering more efficient through virtual solutions.
4) Communicate with confidence and clarity
Last but not least, communicate with confidence and clarity as much and as often as you can. Your team needs your leadership now more than ever.
DO: Communicate expectations and changes in plans clearly and transparently. Plus, highlight what you CAN control and emphasize how committed you are in getting the team through this crisis.
As Brian Tracy says, the true test of leadership is how well you function in a crisis.
And this is now!
Remember that the best DEFENSE against any challenge is a strong OFFENSE.
As a leader, this means that right now IS the time to sharpen your leadership skills and to get a support system in place that gives you the backup and guidance you need to show up as the best leader you can be.
If you’re missing this part for yourself, then join us in the Leadership Circle. A low-cost monthly coaching and training program for high-performing leaders. Learn more here and send in your application to see if it’s a fit for you. (By the way, several members get this paid for by their company so don’t hold back and ask them).