Especially in the midst of a global pandemic and an international escalation. Leadership is about posture, grace, and setting the tone for the whole.
Leaders today can set the tone of panic or peace within their environment by their actions, words, and mindset. Even if no global things were happening this prior statement is still true.
Let’s look at this in another way. Let’s say you are the General Manager of your organization and you get news that could be either a good thing or a bad thing but you are not sure yet.
You could call a meeting and start to panic, fear, and worry about your key leaders and they would do the same for their team members and thus the ball of angst is in motion. The staff starts rewriting their resumes just in case, your leaders call the local headhunter and ask what else is in the marketplace right now. You stress out making your blood pressure rise, your tone and words are sharper and your family gets less of you because you are emotionally tied up. Your social media becomes sharper in tone or stops altogether. You expect your team to do long hours and put in more work to impress senior management or the board. Everyone is stressed.
You could call an all-member meeting and be calm in your delivery of what could or couldn’t be the case. You ask your team’s opinion. You reassure them that things are going to be alright and you are in this together. You and your team attend a local art project, or meditation session or hang out outside of work like you normally do. You maintain your regular hours. You encourage everyone to do good self-care. Your social media efforts are valuable and make your customers/clients feel appreciated. You launch a community care project to pull the team together. These are great things to do during times that could go either way.
I know for me, I’d rather be in the second scenario but so many times in life, when there is angst, unknown, or uncertainty, the first of the two scenarios is what happens. Retraction is normal, it is a human reaction to keeping ourselves safe. It is what your brain knows.
Being mindful and having a positive mindset are things most leaders can and should work on. Your reactions to “news”, changes, or the unknown will flow more gracefully when you are mindful of how you are feeling, reacting, and being.
Remember, people follow amazing leaders for who they are being rather than for their long list of accomplishments. You get to set the tone, pace, message, and morale of your team.
Lead in love.
(This article was first published in the Locala Magazine)