My genuine hope is that this note finds you and your families safe and healthy.
Challenging times. Real life that exposes our humanity and rocks our foundations.
At the same time, I’m seeing incredible acts of kindness and amazing resilience. I’ve always loved the word and now it seems more relevant than ever. The Oxford internet dictionary says that resilience is the “ability to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.” Or the ability to “spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.” What I like about the definition is that it’s honest and hopeful. We will be bent, but we can be restored.
Organizations right now are being bent or stretched as never before, which means that the people inside are experiencing the same thing. And there are at least two things I believe are needed to counter this, especially from leaders: good hearts and clear heads.
In times of crisis, we need to know that there’s a certain altruism coming from our leaders. Admittedly, pure altruism is probably not possible. But we can try. There are countless examples from history of leaders who have demonstrated this trait. They gave at their own expenses and didn’t take – true “servant-leaders.” Followers of altruistic leaders always know that this leader will put her or his own interest behind those of those they lead. That’s just how it works.
My take is that crisis doesn’t create “altruistics,” but reveals them. In other words, the cream rises to the top. Now, truly, is the time to do some very real introspection on how you’re showing up as a leader.
Intentionally Clear Minds
We desperately crave leaders who can make well-thought-out decisions and execute on them. But clear minds can be tough to come by in ordinary times, let alone in times of crisis! The pushes and pulls of the group (aka, system) and our own automatic reactivity within the group can hinder our best thinking, behaving and executing. To do this well – we must be very deliberate. It doesn’t just happen. Effective leadership must be done with great intention.
I look forward to exploring these topics with you in the weeks to come.
Take deep breaths. Engage in self-care (we’ll talk about that too). And stay the course.