These are crazy times we are living in. As a leader, it can be hard to find your feet and to feel confident in your path. You may feel inadequate, unsure and out of your depth. That is to be expected. This is leadership like we have never seen before. These tips will help you find a new center:
You are not responsible.
It should go without saying, but this is not your problem. This is a global challenge that doesn’t have clear answers. Your people may want you to have answers, but you won’t and you can’t. They will want certainty about their jobs, their income, and their lives. You can’t promise them the future. Encourage them to do their job today and let them know you have compassion but cannot be the answer to their future.
Get the bad news out of the way fast.
If you have lay-offs and reorgs to do, do it quickly. Make a plan–even if it is a bad plan and clear this from your “to do” list. You will be a better leader. Kudos if you can be compassionate while you do it.
Think about the timeline.
What is important 1 week from now?
What is important 1 month from now?
What is important 1 year from now?
Some organizations need to be extending their timeline (How will we emerge from this crisis?) while others are busy changing to meet day to day needs (What do our clients need today?). Make sure to orient your thinking daily and consider multiple time frames.
Be kind and firm.
Your team member is spinning and scared. Be empathetic and then ask them to get back to their jobs and produce good work. Having meaningful work is a privilege in these times and you can ask them to be achievers right now….today.
Practice extreme self-care.
You are your own strongest asset. Experiment to strengthen your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Reach for the salad and smoothies instead of the martinis and chocolate cake.
You will get through this. You will learn from this. You will do your best and you will do your worst in this. As an experimental leader, it is important that you stay engaged in the struggle of leadership. Try and fail and dust yourself off. Go experiment again.
Melanie Parish is a public speaker, author, and Master Coach. An expert in problem solving, constraints management, operations, and brand development, Melanie has consulted and coached organizations ranging from the Fortune 50 to IT start-ups. She is the author of The Experimental Leader: Be A New Kind of Boss to Cultivate an Organization of Innovators. For more information, please visit, www.melanieparish.com and connect with her on Twitter, @melanieparish.