As I write this, it is late winter and we still face many challenges in dealing with the coronavirus. Maybe the subject of this article is boring for you, or maybe you are tired of living in this critical moment. In any case, this season is certainly a season that tests everyone, especially leaders. If you’ve heard me talk or listened to my podcasts, you probably know what I’ve said before: “There are no two good consecutive days in a leader’s life,” this certainly applies these days. Although leaders are used to being tested, they are not necessarily used to being tested. Leaders seem to be under a lot of pressure on a daily basis, and I find that many of these tests fall into one of four categories:
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If you are a leader, a few things like the people you lead need your time. Although the most obvious impact of this epidemic has been on physical health, leaders must also examine the emotional and mental health of their people. Add to the effort of managing organizational challenges, allowing people to work in the office or home, with economic challenges, retaining employees or meeting their needs, and a few months later you will see what a successful test you have come up with and your ability to lead. You will see good people.
All leaders know that managing time on a good day can be a challenge, but it’s even harder now. If you work from home, you have no doubt realize that the flexibility of time at home is easy, and if this is true for you, it is true for other people as well. Or you may be back in the office but can not hold other meetings or gatherings as before, which means you have to find new ways to maximize time. The most efficient and creative use of your time and that of your team is certainly a test that you must remember.
I usually do not talk about problems and troubles, but rather about opportunities. There is an opportunity within every challenge that comes your way. But when a lot of problems happen to you quickly, your mindset changes easily. It is easy to focus only on the problems and ignore the opportunities. As a leader, you need to protect your mindset and not let problems get in the way and opportunities pass you by.
Whether you are talking about people or buildings or systems, the last test a leader regularly faces is the test of change. We have all felt the pressure of this particular test in the last few months, and the signs are that these pressures continue. Although change is normal, not all change is healthy. Healthy change is growth, and we as leaders must look forward to opportunities for growth and its lessons in this epidemic.
In addition to the strengths of our people, we must strengthen our strengths, because this is when innovation, creativity, and courage prevail. I wish in the current situation I could train any leader personally, I wish I could spend a day with you, listen to your challenges, ask you questions and share what I am learning. Having a coach will help guide you through challenging times, so I encourage you not to act alone without advice.
Whether it is the coronavirus or not, there are still more tests to be done to guide you. The eyes of your people are on you on these difficult days, so I hope you prepare more day by day.
Stay sharp and be flexible and humble. This is a difficult situation for leaders, but it will not be forever.
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