“What does the future hold?”
Every client/leader I have spoken to during the past several months is asking the same question – “what does the future hold?” Each one is trying to make plans, while we are in the midst of tornado activity that will continue to impact us for probably the next three months based on trends from China and Italy.
Questions are powerful engines that drive results, if you ask the right question.
Asking the question, “how do we plan for six months to 1 year from right now?” may or may not empower you or your teams. The environment is so unstable and may lead to paralysis of your people and you – there are just too many unknowns. You can’t lead the future. You can only lead now in this present moment and, in doing so, lead effectively into the future.
You are probably seeing both the best and the worst in your people right now. In response, they need to see the best of you and count on you to help draw out the best in them. As Ronald Reagan said, “The greatest leaders are the ones who bring out the greatness in their people.”
Focus on three keys actions.
This is brief – you have to get back to the work at hand – a few confirming tips you already know and I’m sure are executing on:
1. Deliver a single clear, repeatable and immediately executable message.
2. Be present to your people. Everyone is circling the wagons, but you as a leader cannot afford to not be out in front of your people communicating daily.
3. Remind your people of their resilience. They will forget – you need to remind them – over and over again.
The Psalms are full of prayers.
As you face the countless decisions and navigate an aggressively changing landscape, know that I am praying over you. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. One thing I have learned is that the best leaders first learned how to be good followers. God is at the helm. Let Him lead you so you can lead your people well. David said “But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, in the acceptable time; O God, in the multitude of Your mercy, Hear me in the truth of Your salvation” (Psalm 69:13).
Solidarity with the Lord is your strength, open and honest communication is your offensive weapon and the talent of you and your people, coupled tightly to your humility, will ensure victory in due time. In this battle, like every other one we have faced, we are not alone – the Lord is with us. Paul reminds us to “watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14).
And, if you need a moment to pause and pray with someone, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I sincerely mean that.