26 Mar Leadership in Uncertain Times
How are you managing isolation? I’ve avoided sharing any social media or blog articles with you for a while now because, to be honest, I haven’t known the best way forward.
We are all experiencing a life-changing global crisis and I didn’t want to add to the panic and fear so many have irrationally displayed in the early stages of the coronavirus spread. Yes, I’m ashamed to acknowledge that OZ is the best at toilet paper wars!!
I’m guessing that like me; you needed to get a grip on what is really happening. We’ve needed time to understand how Covid-19 will impact us, to recalibrate and to decide what actions we can take.
World leaders have been asking us to change our lives step by step over the past two months and many of us currently find ourselves in some type of lockdown or isolation. However, it’s important to acknowledge that change is really difficult for many people. They can feel uncomfortable and even out of control!
So in our complex world it is sometimes useful to simplify the choices we can make. I’ve learnt over the years that in the face of difficult life challenges there are only three steps we can take. Yes! Three!
THERE ARE ONLY 3 STEPS WE CAN TAKE!
- We can accept the situation.
- We can try and change the situation, or
- We can remove ourselves from the situation.
Now unless you can fly to the moon or to Mars it seems to me that we all need to focus on Steps 1 & 2.
So here are my leadership strategies for dealing with the coronavirus and lockdown.
- It’s time to accept that we live in a VUCA world. VUCA thinking has been around for about 20 years now and is an acronym for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Accepting and understanding this helps us to unlock some great values and strategies. Acknowledging that we are all connected and we must all take responsibility to change our way of loving, learning, working, commuting, playing and consuming to save lives around the world is the way forward. Ultimately this acceptance will bring very positive changes to the modern world, as we now know it.
- It’s time to learn from others. You don’t have to have all the answers. Observe how the leaders you respect and admire are dealing with the situation and apply their actions to your context.
- Be proactive rather than reactive. Consider the greater good and how you and your family/organization/business/school can contribute in a positive way.
- Beware of the negativity bias. Sadly, since creation we have been hard-wired to adopt negative thinking for survival rather than positive thinking. Look for the positive thoughts, actions and outcomes you see in others and praise them. Adopt the mantra “I am the most positive person I know,” repeat it to yourself daily and live it. You will be a role model to others.
- Stop worrying. Psychologists tell us that when faced with a dilemma we often choose to worry because it tricks our brain into thinking we are taking action. I suggest that you stop worrying and instead take proactive actions and use gratitude to see all the positive that is happening in your life and the world at the moment.
- Understand your values – it is a really good time to reflect on your personal values and the values of your organization/business/school. Are you living your values? Your values provide an amazing GPS to guide your next steps. If you’re not sure how to work out your personal values contact me and I’ll help you.
- Look for the gifts in life! This is such an amazing strategy that automatically flips you out of your negativity bias thinking. There are gifts all around you. Look for them, share them with others and you will be amazed at what you see, hear, learn, experience and enjoy.
- Take responsibility. I learnt this many years ago. You can blame others but it gets you or your family/organization nowhere and ultimately creates a toxic environment. Take 100% responsibility for all your decisions and actions. If they don’t work, that’s ok. Pivot and try a new solution to solve the situation.
- Use the top four modern leadership behaviours that account for 89% effectiveness in today’s VUCA world. They are golden and save you so much time and productivity whilst opening the door for innovation and change.
- Stop second-guessing yourself. If you would like to run your ideas and thoughts by someone else or if you could use more strategies to make sure you are leading at the top of your game in a VUCA world then click this link for my leadership and executive leadership coaching packages. Or click this link to learn about my new MASTERCLASS WEBINAR: LEADERSHIP FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
I know we are in for a tough time ahead, but I can truly see some amazing changes that will make our world a much better place.
Maxine Driscoll is the Founder and Visionary at Think Strategic & Think Leadership. She has been innovating and leading high performance teams in Australia and internationally for 25+ years. Let her fast-track you, your team, business, organisation or school to an innovative pathway for success in uncertain times.