I met with a group of executives yesterday about what’s happening in their organizations as they navigate leadership, culture, and COVID-19. This morning I got a note about a CEO sending out a “panicked deck” before his meeting with investors. Later today I’m meeting with an executive who needs to get his head and heart clear before he communicates the next steps of the organization and asks his leadership team to step in and lead with him, not by force but by invitation....
This is a common theme right now. We’re all navigating this “moment” as best we can. Emotions are high. Uncertainty abundant. Not to mention... everything else. And by “everything else” I mean – EVERYTHING ELSE.
We’ve never been here.
We’re all learning how to survive and navigate here – in order to better lead, serve, and thrive to get there. I’m learning this with you as my team and I find our way now as well and I’m working with others to do the same. What I see, wherever you’re at on your path and perspective here, is that there are a couple of things essential – and helpful – to pay attention to before you make any decisions. This moment in time is providing us with a powerful – albeit painful in many ways – “reset button” to redefine how we lead, how we serve, how we relate, who we are, how we show up, and how we create culture and value NOW... To do this well will require presence, healing, clear intentions, healthy clean energy, and a desire to serve and create positive impact.
Here are some “anchors” to put down as you get yourself clear for the next and set your “reset” up as helpfully as possible. Note that all of these things are contagious – in helpful ways – so the more you model them as a leader, the more likely you’ll inspire them in those you lead.
Before you make any decision, have any conversation, give any direction:
- Get present. Get present to RIGHT NOW. Your physical, emotional, and mental state. To what’s happening right now – the accurate reporting of it, not the emotional drama of it. Get present to your breath. Your body. Your space. Breathe.
- Be conscious of your own energetic state and emotional needs right now. (Number one will help you with this.) Are you getting the support you need? Do you have a safe space to process your fears, concerns, and to think out loud so that you CAN come to the table to lead your team more clearly? Your own mental and emotional health is crucial to tend to here. Emotions are contagious; anxiety, fear, blame, judgment, overwhelm, busy-ness – and also presence, calm, consciousness, hope, accurate reporting, neutrality, curiosity, and service.... Be conscious of, and present to, your emotional and mental state so that you “spread” the emotions you want to and at a minimum provide a neutral and un-projecting space for your people. (NOTE: A coach, therapist, or trusted colleague/friend can do this for you, providing ear, heart, perspective, reflection, and exploration to help you get clear here. Just make sure they’re qualified to hold the space – safe and neutral and YOU focused – for you and not “climb on board" either belittling it, making it worse, or projecting their own experience on YOU.)
- Get clear on your intention. Before you go into any conversation, any presentation, client meeting, employee meeting, meeting with your kid or spouse, etc... get clear on your intention. What is it that you want to have happen BECAUSE of this conversation/presentation/etc? How do you want them to feel and experience you? How do YOU want to feel? How will you have to show up to make that happen (your energetic presence, communication style, physical presence, etc.)? What will you have to believe to do this well? (Number two helps here.) And what will you have to DO to actually make the conversation effective? (Before in prep, during it, and after.) DO NOT GO INTO ANYTHING YOU CARE ABOUT WITHOUT BEING PRESENT AND CLEAR ON YOUR INTENTION.
- Tend to your energy. Whatever energy you are putting out there, your vibe – it will be felt. It will be experienced. It will likely mean more than your words. And it is contagious. So tend to your energetic presence and what you project. Baseline for this? Take care of your physical and mental energy, give yourself space to heal – eat well, sleep, exercise, meditate, journal, move, take breaks, tend to your body and mind, and don’t pollute your system with stuff that takes you “offline” (an abundance of TV/news, social media, alcohol, drugs, etc...) or “away from” yourself or innate wisdom.
- Ask for help. DO NOT DO THIS ALONE. We are not supposed to be alone – especially right now when our world is upside down and our businesses are in flux in so many ways. Work with your trusted posse – friends, colleagues, coach, therapist, advisor, spouse, partner, etc. – whoever that may be for you that helps you feel clear, grounded, safe, thoughtful, accountable, and like YOU as your most honest and real self. ASK FOR HELP.
There you have five areas to look at now. I personally find all of them important touch points for me. The people I work with do as well. Pick one, pick all, and lean in.
Call to Action:
If you want more on this and how to lead and create culture and collaboration and a state of being as leader and human that is more positively contagious and helpful to those you love and lead, read Contagious You: Unlock Your Power to Influence, Lead, and Create the Impact You Want and/or Contagious Culture: Show Up, Set the Tone, and Intentionally Create an Organization That Thrives (both published by McGraw-Hill, 2019 and 2015 respectively).
Want more? If you’d like personal support for you and/or your team and organization right now in showing up, leading, navigating this time, and making intentional use of the “reset button” you have to build an even stronger culture and better results, contact me. I am taking on new clients again.
Be well, be safe, be you. Lead.