How are you doing today? Take a few minutes to reflect on your current situation. On what’s different, and what’s the same – the changes it makes being in a different environment; the ups and downs it creates; when you’re faced not only with professional responsibilities but the challenges and pleasures of being based at home.
Now realise that everyone you’re dealing with is faced with variations of all the situations you’re confronted with. As well, you may be facing circumstances you’ve had no reason to consider or have no knowledge of. Maybe colleagues are trying to support a parent with medical issues living a few hours away. Perhaps they are living in a building with tensions rising as people fail to comply with certain restrictions. A child may now be home-schooled whose behavioural issues are causing family friction. And those or equivalent situations may well be affecting you, too.
What all of this adds up to is that duty of care becomes part of daily working life in a whole new way. It’s something many businesses pay lip service to, but this is not a time for machismo and towing the line. If you notice yourself wavering, or that a colleague is, acknowledge that and do something about it, including asking for the support of others. A leader needs to be in good shape themselves to be of value to others.
Six months ago things were very different. In six months time they’ll be different again. Whether that goes well or badly is something that as a leader you’re going to have a say in within your organisation.
- Notice your reaction to the word ‘leader’. Is it one you’re comfortable with or shrink away from? Be honest about that response, and consider it some more.
- Is your degree of comfort habitual? And how appropriate is it given the changes being experienced on a global scale at this point?
- Is your hesitation familiar? How much is based on reasonable fear given your experience to date, and how much is anxiety about the unknown?
In either case, being real about who you are as a leader matters more now than it has before. Getting perspective on it is important. It’s likely your sense of yourself as a leader includes elements of overconfidence and uncertainty. Good – it makes a dynamic, and the energy that creates is what can move us forward…and if necessary, back again if we need to take a different route.
- What’s been your best experience of being a leader to date? How did you know you were a good leader? How much of that came from preparation? To what extent were you responding to the moment?
- What’s been your worst leadership experience to date? When did you realise something was going wrong? Where did your resourcefulness go, and what consequences did that have for you, for others, for your organisation?
- Who impresses you as a leader? They can be historical or fictional. What do they do that you can emulate? Is there an outlook underpinning their leadership choices? What in your life provides an equivalent foundation?
Not everyone uses the word leader for who they are and what they do. But at a time when many people are working from home, and may well be taking a different role with those in their wider lives, every one of us is faced with situations that don’t make sense the way they used to. Some will step up and assert a greater degree of leadership in their lives. Others will want to be led more than before. And for us all, the old maps are questionable. In their absence, that’s where Compass Partnership can be of extra value.
If you’d like to talk about how you can help your team through these times, we’re here to help. Drop us a line.