Wisdom, as a leader, in times of crisis can be challenging, but measured judgment, clarity, and courage can help support you and your team.
In these current times, strong leadership has never been more valuable. Even before the pandemic, it was a challenging time for leadership. Between technology, social media and all the opportunities out there, how can a leader stay grounded and focused?
But since we are here now, the current coronavirus pandemic presents an important opportunity for leadership. Staying calm and focused is key, as is retaining strong connections with your teammates, and using measured judgment rather than resorting to rushed decisions made from a place of stress and overwhelm. Of course, that can be difficult as you respond to the pressures everyone is confronting during the pandemic — but it’s absolutely possible with some guidance.
The good thing is we are ALL navigating unfamiliar territory. But one thing I notice, both now and in previous recessions, leaders get comfortable with widespread ambiguity and chaos, recognizing that they do not have a crisis playbook. I mean who would have guessed all that this world is going through right now?
But the best of leaders commit to navigating through the turbulence, adjusting, improvising, and re-directing as the situation changes and new information emerges. Flexibility is a key part of good leadership.
What’s also essential for leaders is avoiding burnout. This means being thoughtful about your time rather than attempting to power through each week, reacting constantly to every problem that arises. To do that effectively, focus on taking care of yourself, mentally, physically and emotionally, while encouraging your team to do the same.
Here are some simple ways to stay centered, focused, and clear as a leader:
1. When you feel overwhelmed, remind yourself that what is expected of leaders is judgment, not sheer stamina.
In times of deep uncertainty, leaders often think they need to be always on and accept a state of burnout. Like being “busy” is a title in and of itself. But to be able to see the icebergs ahead, you need to find a way to get yourself into the metaphorical eye of the hurricane — that centered place of strength, wisdom and peace which we all have inside ourselves. Taking time to journal out thoughts and concerns assists with coming to solutions.
2. When you are feeling stressed, collaborate.
A great deal is expected of leaders now, but nobody expects you to have all the answers! We are designed to be in community, so collaboration is key. Discussing and exchanging ideas with peers and team members can lead to innovative options you may not have previously considered. Researchers at Stanford University found that collaborating with other creative minds can also result in increased motivation. I like that!
3. Take a quick break
Oh I know this is hard. But take a brief moment to step away from the computer and your phone to do something for you — whether that’s a quick stretch, a walk in the fresh air, or make a healthy lunch. Better yet, schedule it in as a meeting each day.
Studies show that too much time on devices may have a detrimental impact on cognition. I actually just finished reading Brain Wash, which is a book focused on detoxing you’re mind for clearer thinking. Time away from technology, and your responsibilities at work, will help you to recharge so that you return to your desk with more energy and a fresh perspective.
So which one of these will you implement today?
I’m here for you...to guide you through the chaos. To create a strategic plan that reduces the overwhelm and burnout. To give you more peace, confidence and clarity as a leader.
Reach out to book a discovery call with me!