The majority of people around the world have been quarantined. We've been practicing our physical distancing for several weeks now. We're continuing to watch the world change right before our eyes. The way that we lead and the way our businesses do things are changing on an everyday basis. My questions for you is, are you changing as well; will you exit this craziness better than you entered?
Below I will share 3 checks to balance things out in our leadership.
#1 Check the source of your wisdom - What do I mean by that? Wisdom is everything, knowledge is having information. So, think about this for just a minute knowledge is having information; like I know a lot of things. I bet you know a lot of things. I bet you're smart. You've studied, you went to school. You may have a high school diploma; others may have a two-year degree or four-year degree maybe even a master’s or a doctorate.
However, having information does not make one wise. I know many people who have way more education than I have that make poor decisions. Most of my career has been spent serving in the healthcare arena. My first job in healthcare was as a weekend orderly at a mental health facility. We had residents with doctorate degrees, master's degree and highly educated that had made poor choices in their life and got mixed up with drugs. Some of them had schizophrenia, so they had other issues going on.
If you look at what's going on in our world right now with the coronavirus. There's plenty of information out there and some of it will scare the you know what out of you if you listen or read too much of it. I'm not recommending you do that.
Get your information from the right people.
Knowledge is just information; wisdom is applying the information that we know in the right ways.
The real leaders are wise, the real leaders know how to take information and apply it in their lives. There are many things that I've done in my life where I had the knowledge, but I didn't apply in my life. And we can use many examples of that like, just eating and exercise for example. We know plenty about eating, but much of the world does not apply that knowledge and turn it into wisdom.
I'm challenging you to take the knowledge that you have and begin to apply this information, not only in these things that we're dealing with now but in your leadership as well.
Create a growth plan, but also check the source of your wisdom. Know where this information is coming from. Checking the source of your knowledge has never been more important than it is right now.
Who we learn from is more important than what you learn. Just
because you've led a certain way, doesn't mean it was the wise way.
Not everyone has crisis leadership experience. Not everyone has great character.
I've said the crisis will reveal who we are as a leader. It doesn't make us. It reveals who we are.
The current leadership challenge is revealing your character and your leadership wisdom. Now that doesn't mean that you can't grow and develop. I want you to come out of this crisis better than when you entered it. Use this as a time to grow develop your character and your wisdom. Make sure that you're getting information from the right people, check the source of how you act, check the source of your character, where do those things come from?
I'm challenging you to oversee your own life, to not react, but to be proactive in the way you lead and the way you communicate.
#2 Check Your Motives- Leadership is all about others. We can look around the world right now and we can see the motives of others. I don't like to admit it, but I'm selfish at times and my selfish motive can get in the way of good leadership if I’m not careful. My motive in sharing in this blog and on the Lead Up Podcast is to help leaders lead more effectively. People are screaming for leadership right now more than ever. My selfish motive right now is to inspire you, the leader to lead better to lead more effectively.
However, when we don't check our selfish motives, it becomes trouble for us down the road. We can look at companies who lay people off at a time of greatest need. I'm not judging that right now I'm saying these things have a ripple effect that will impact us forever. Laying people off in my opinion should be the last resort. What is your motive for leadership?
“Do not ever say that the desire to do good by force is a good motive. Neither power lust, nor stupidity are good motives.”- Ayn Rand
Check your motives.
What is it that you're saying, and why are you saying it? What's driving it? How are you leading? What's your motive behind that? And just because you say you're doing good doesn't mean it's the right motive.
Leadership is all about others. It's all about those people that we’re leading. You're not a leader if you're not leading other people.
And make sure that the crisis, and that the reactivity of others doesn’t change your motive.
Don't be a reactive leader during this moment, be a proactive leader.
#3 Check the outcome that you're after -Instances of crisis mean things must change, goals have to change. I've just in the last couple of weeks changed how I deliver my podcast, the messages behind my podcast. My goals had to change to meet the need of the moment. Maybe I have financial goals or fitness goals or leadership goals. But now we're in a different time compared to where we were four weeks ago. Now may be the time in your leadership where you need to pause and adjust your outcome outlook.
Maybe you had financial goals for your team, your department, your company or even yourself. We've got to adjust those. I think we're going to come out of this soon on the other side and we'll get back to moving in that direction but certainly things must adjust. Your outcome outlook needs to adjust. You can't hold people to the same result goals and outcomes you were looking at just even a few weeks ago. Life as we knew it just four weeks ago has changed. And it's changed for the foreseeable future and we need to be aware of that as leaders.
The question is, where do you need to adjust? Where do you need to adjust your outlook? Where do you need to adjust your outcomes? Where do you need to scale back some of your plans? Where do you need to push forward in some of your things? See how much I'm challenging you as a leader to push forward in the development of self, development of mindset, development of trust with your team and challenge them to do the same.
Maybe we're not pushing for financial goals right now but we're pushing to grow as an individual. We need to come out of this better than we entered it individually.
I love this quote,
‘” The pessimist complains about the wind, the optimist expects it
to change and the realist adjusts the sales.”
Where do you need to adjust your sails? The wind is not going to change in the foreseeable future. But you as a leader can adjust the sails to drive yourself and drive your team to a new level of expectation and performance. And I'm going to be right here with you.