I don't have to tell you that we are in a crazy and unique time in our history. You know that. You're trying to figure out how to lead in this limbo time. How can one talk about performance reviews, scheduling programs, or implementing anything right now? It seems silly, while the world feels like it's falling apart. It's time of waiting, holding, hoping and fearing. How do leaders need to show up in this time?
3 Things Leaders Need Do While We Wait
1. GET CLOSE
Get close. Not physically close. However, connect deeply with your staff, your board, your council, your church members, and your donors. Find excuses to call, to email, to text, and to video chat. Strong human bonds are fuel for a healthy organization and we need it more than ever. Remind people to be hopeful, to be mindful, to be generous. Tell your people you care. Ask them what they need. Ask them how they want to help.
2. EMBRACE VALUES & MISSION
When people feel pulled apart by bad news, social isolation and fear, leaders can help to recenter them by calling them to embrace shared values and joint mission. Remind your people what matters, remind them why your organization does what it does, remind them how to treat people, remind them of the impact of your mission, remind them that how the work is done is less imporatant that why the work is done, and remind them to be creative in service to your mission. It might be a time of great creativity and innovation. When your organization is rooted in values and mission, all things are possible and fear has no place.
3. BE A CALM PRESENCE
Leaders, you can lower anxiety in your organizational system by being a non-anxious presence. While being physically present may mean something different these days of working remotely and cancelled meetings, there are other ways you as a leader can "show up" for your people and be a calm presence. Leaders, check in with each team member regularly to ask how it's going and what they need and provide consisent, support and guidance. You can offer resources and ideas. Connect people. Share across the organization so no one feels left out. Share stories of how people are doing or being creative, or adjusting. Have weekly meetings online to connect people and create unity. Share videos on state of the organization. Proactively seek imput from people to create plans. Give timely response when asked questions Be procactive about sharing policies and the reasoning behind them. Ask for feedback and create adjustment. When people move into emotional reactivity, ask them what they are requesting. This can moves them from emotioal reactivity into cognitive process, You can then work together to see if it's a feasible or appropriate request. Help your people stay connected and stay calm.
Keep connected, keep calm, and keep focused on mission.
Kristin Wiersma | The Joshua Group | firstname.lastname@example.org