“During a time like this, we’ll either get better as a result of what we choose to do as teams and organizations, or we’ll be diminished for what we fail to do.” – Patrick Lencioni
This quote rings incredibly true for so many of us working to keep our organizations afloat, both amid COVID-19 and in the wake of the terrible injustice that we witnessed so recently in Minnesota and Georgia, among other places. What we do in a time of crisis, in a time when everything feels so difficult–how we show up in business and in life–will profoundly impact where we are three months, six months, a year from now.
What we don’t want is for this cycle to repeat itself, again, 100 years later, as it already has.
We must take action.
Your customers, shareholders, partners and team members all crave certainty because it gives them a sense of security in times of crisis. Everyone wants to feel safe and believe that there’s an end to crisis in sight. If you or your organization turns inward, lays low, is passive or otherwise operates in a way that isn’t perceived as actively living your values and your mission, others will notice. And they won’t react well.
The wheels of history are turning visibly right now. We’re moving toward an uncertain future. But you can help manifest more positive certainty and energy within and beyond your circle of influence just by the act of you showing up and speaking up–the right way.
When you look back at this moment in time (no matter when you’re reading this), how do you want to view your reaction as the leader? Do you want to look back and see someone who was bold, creative and resilient? Or do you want to see someone who was fearful, indecisive and didn’t take any action?
My guess is that you want to be the former. Here’s how:
Look to Your Mission and Values
This is the time to take a closer look at your mission statement. Ask yourself Why your organization exists in the first place and how your “Why” can still be relevant moving forward. Perhaps your Why is still relevant but I guarantee that both how you interpret your Mission and your Vision (or how you will manifest your Mission over a defined period of time) need to shift. Have the courage to make these changes now, regardless of how cost-effective or convenient or comfortable it is to do so.
While the core values of an organization don’t change often, these are also worth revisiting now. Are your business practices, your decision making and priorities well-aligned with your core values, or are they more aligned with accidental or aspirational ones? Are your core values meaningful when viewed in the context of current events or do they seem misaligned in any way?
Check in With Yourself
Your self-awareness as a leader is important during times like this. too. Take time to check in with yourself. Acknowledge and process your personal emotions associated with managing multiple crises and rapid change. How are the events going on around you impacting you? Consider how your emotional health impacts how you do business and how you’re communicating with others, including the public.
If you find yourself letting fear or indecision dominate your decision-making process, find out how to be more resilient as a leader. It’s easy to default to fear, such as laying off staff immediately when revenue takes a hit or laying low and staying silent because you don’t know the right thing to say. But sitting this one out isn’t in the best interests of your stakeholders. Instead, reach out to your team. Reach out to your customers. Reach out to your peers and your community leaders. Ask questions, listen, learn and reflect back what you are hearing. Ask how you can help them, and take action accordingly.
Take Care of Health–Yours and Your Organization’s
Of course the health of your organization is important, but you can’t take care of business if you’re not also taking care of yourself. One of the best ways to do this is to give. When we’re helping others, it can fill our own cups so we have even more to give. Of course, that’s not an invitation to work more hours than necessary. Maintain healthy boundaries and say “no” when you run out of energy.
What you’re doing during times of crisis can truly write the script for what your organization looks like in the future–and how you’re positioned as a leader. Make sure you’re doing what will help you get better, not hold you back.
Do you need help checking in with yourself so you can be more self-aware? Grab my guide to build your self awareness now. Simply add your email address below and you’ll get immediate access.