I saw a Facebook post from a friend impacted by lots of weather who said her kiddo just landed his 22nd snow day. I am reasonably certain no one is prepared for that!
That previous statement pretty much sums up everything I have seen or heard in the last 45 days – we are rarely prepared for this!
Your ‘this’ might not be a strike, snow day, or shutdown but we are all facing dynamics that are new. We have been talking for years about how technology keeps changing the way we work, connect, and learn. We now have to accept other things, like politics, race, and sexual orientation are also shaping how we do this thing called leadership. These are not the same old ways of working, and we need to pay attention to things that perhaps were always there, but missing from our leadership perspective. I remember early in my career when I faced something new, there was typically an older adult looking over my shoulder with a shrug saying, “Been there – done that.”
The ‘Been There – Done That’ statement no longer fits. Every day we see novel and complicated dynamics that have never been encountered before. Since no one has led in these exact same conditions, I believe five things are essential.
- It’s okay not to know the answer
- It’s okay to release the old way of thinking and doing – it may not fit anymore
- It’s okay to take things personally (for a bit)
- It’s okay to wrestle with the emotion
- It’s then imperative to lead with purpose and vision in this wilderness of weird
These are not times for passivity or indifference; these are times (regardless of beliefs, approaches, or ideology) for people to connect, find shared interests, and make a difference.
Regardless of your leadership level – we need you!
Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work; you don’t give up. – Anne Lamott
Where are you facing a storm, and what is required in you?