I don’t know what your email in-box looks like right now, but mine is absolutely flooded by well-intended emails/webinar invitations offering strategies/solutions for how to weather the COVID-19 crisis. I get it. People want to help, and their desire to support our organizations in any way they can is truly appreciated . . . AND . . . if we are to make the best decisions for our organizations today, we need to think beyond “weathering the storm.”
I recognize that right now many leaders are faced with extremely painful decisions that will have long-term implications for their people, their organization and their mission. All the more reason that your perspective as a leader is critically important. A “weathering the storm” mentality gives the impression of hunkering down, of digging your heels in and hanging on tight. Are you really going to walk through all the current pain without looking for a gain? What if, instead, you approached each day of this experience by asking “What are we learning now that will make us better on the other side of this crisis?”
- Is your mission still the driver of everything that you do, or have you lost focus or drifted from what is most important? How will you recalibrate going forward?
- Are there tasks you assumed “had to” be done a certain way that you are now approaching differently? Is there any reason you need to go back to the old way?
- Have you learned that things you thought could not be accomplished through the use of technology really can be? Will that free up capacity to expand your focus to other priorities in the future?
- Have your staff members exceeded your expectations with their commitment, creativity, and can-do spirit? How will you continue to tap into their innovative ideas going forward?
- Are you connecting with people differently or partnering with different people? Are your priorities changing or becoming clearer? Are there aspects of this current reality you want to continue for the long-term?
Asking yourself and your people “What are we learning from this?” instills a sense of optimism that you will get to the other side. You don’t have to come up with all the answers right now . . . simply asking the question keeps you thinking proactively and expansively rather than reverting to a reactive sense of scarcity. Either way, the challenge is before you.
What will you learn?