Many of us are entering week four of staying at home in the midst of this global pandemic. How has it been going for you as a leader, for your team, and for you personally? I’ll tell you what I am experiencing and hearing from many leaders now.
- Many people have shifted into a pandemic anxiety. Will I get sick? Am I going to die? Will the world be changed forever? When we enter into this or any state of anxiety it becomes hard for our emotional brain (especially the amygdala) to stay calm and not get our prefrontal cortex fired up. We need to stay calm in the face of any crisis. Are you prepared? Are you staying safe, home, and healthy?
Now what? Knowing where your anxiety is coming from and what to do with it is important. Find someone to talk to – a friend or coach who knows you well and can help you find a calmer state. Remember as a leader you must ‘know thyself’ and if you are having an emotional reaction to this situation, understand it, lean into it, learn, and grow.
- Suddenly our society has also shifted into an almost fully online world. We are now turning to video conferencing software more than ever and besides the learning curve to the software, some leaders are feeling the learning curve to working with remote teams and wondering what their people are doing. All of the leaders I have worked with these past few weeks are expressing lack of confidence and ‘know how’ to navigate this suddenly all online world.
Now what? Continue to provide support and a listening ear to your teams. Talk to everyone individually. Give direction and find ways to move into innovation. Some of the same tasks may still exist but they may need modification. Some of the business may need to change so use team meetings to navigate those directions.
- This ties into my next comment -be creative and innovative! Don’t feel stuck or get stuck! This week I read about a florist who found out they had to close and literally tossed $7,000 worth of flowers. To be honest my heart sank. My first thought was ‘Oh my goodness how sad” but that quickly shifted into “WHAT? throwing them away?” I wondered if they could have been creative and delivered flowers out around town – to nursing homes, restaurants that are open, anyone who would appreciate this lovely gesture. To be honest, this would help people remember them after this is over. If I had a flower delivery in these trying times you can bet your money that I would use that florist moving forward and tell all of my friends about their amazing kindness.
Now what? Put on your creative thinking caps. Now is the perfect time to continue regular connections to your current clients and to find out-of-the-box thinking for ways you can pivot, perhaps for the immediate future or maybe farther down the road. Businesses that don’t move with change sometimes cannot keep up and don’t survive. Defy the odds, create, discuss, find ways to ‘WOW’ everyone around and you WILL be remembered.