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Keep Leading!

It is not the towers coming down that I remember from 9/11. It isn’t the long lines, the ferries or the walk… it’s the heroes that I remember. I say this every 9/11 in my annual Facebook post. The mad dash to help others, the thoughts and actions to make the seemingly impossible happen. It wasn’t just the first responders that I consider heroes. And they are, hands down, 100% hero. It was also the people who stepped up to lead others through a time of crisis. The Business Owners, the Community Leaders, the strangers… the Leaders.

Yesterday I sat in on one of Patrick Lencioni’s webinars where he was talking about “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team”. He started out by saying “The next three weeks are critical for us as leaders. We will be defined by how we are over the next three weeks.” He is right. It is not COVID-19 that will define us. It will be our Leadership through these trying times that will define us. It will be how we lead our teams and our businesses. That is the story that will be told by your teams for ages.

But, how do we handle the stress of running a business, making tough decisions, still serving our clients, being a great family member and lead a team through this? It is a lot. I completely get it. The best trick to live through it is to talk about it. Be vulnerable with your team and your family and share how you are feeling.

Your team needs to know you are human, with feelings. Why? Because they are having feelings. They are stressed, even anxious, with this “normal”. They also have the burden of being a great team member, family member, community member and even, in some cases, teacher. They are dealing with a lot. And through it all they are looking to you to ensure its okay to feel the way they do. You can eliminate some of their worry just by talking to them.

Please do not abdicate your position as Leader during this time. Be there for your team. Be real with them. Share your stress, be open and honest. And “Check In” with them: How are they handling it all? What is it like with the kids at home? Whats it like with your spouse home? How are you WINNING the day? Just ask questions, listen and care. Then encourage them to do the same with their team.

Organizational Health is based on Trust. We can dive more into Lencioni’s teaching on the 5 Dysfunctions at another time, but I believe his teaching to be 100% true. Trust is the foundation of everything. And in a team it is most important. Build trust, do not break it. Be vulnerable, be truthful and care. No matter your personality, lead.

It starts with you.

I know someone is reading this and saying “yeah, I did that when it started.” Do it again. How many “things” have we gone through in the last 4 weeks. The ‘newness’ has worn off and its real now. Check in again.

Not sure of questions to ask, how to engage, or what to share? Call me, I am happy to walk you through it.

Don’t think that is enough to get your team successfully out on the other side? Call me, I’ll get you a tool or two to use that can help.

Don’t stand still… keep leading!


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