Life has changed dramatically over the past weeks, and we must expect that it will continue to veer far from normal for quite some time.

The data on this pandemic indicates that there will be many more cases of COVID-19 in the upcoming weeks and all of us—particularly leaders—need to do everything we can to lead well through this challenging time.

Remember, at Carpenter Smith Consulting, we believe that:

Leadership is the willingness to influence
your world and the willingness to be influenced
by your world, regardless of role or title.

So, what does that mean this week?

  • Support people having what they need.
    • Remember, people can’t be effective at work if they don’t believe that their families are safe.
    • The more you help them solve some of these basic issues—either by offering time to do so, some financial support, resources, etc.,—the more likely they’ll be able to be present while working.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate!
    • While it’s likely you’ll need to make some decisions quickly at the top, going back to top-down leadership is not the answer in a crisis like this.
    • Engage the people impacted by the decisions as often as possible. Listen to their perspectives and expertise; really listen, and learn from them.
    • Recognize and appreciate those who bring you hard, but important, news. Learn from mistakes so you don’t make them again.
  • Anticipate the ripples of COVID-19, as well as the ripples from your response to it.
    • We all know there are unintended consequences to reactions, responses, and decisions.
    • Who on your team or in your organization tends to see those ripples naturally? Get them in a meeting now.
  • Assess what is truly urgent and what—without attention—will become critical.
    • Talking with all of your leaders about this distinction is important because you will need to increasingly rely on local decisions as things move quickly.
    • Some teams are carrying around the 2×2 matrix of Urgent and Important, and highlighting those that might become critical.
    • Use your past experiences—even if not exactly the same—to help you determine what action to take when you’re navigating unfamiliar waters.
  • Let people know they matter to you, the organization, your customers, and the community.
    • People feel that they matter to you when they believe two things:
      • You care about them as a person.
      • You deeply value them and their unique gifts and talents.
    • When people feel they matter, they show up fully and passionately.

Step into your leadership this week by influencing your world and being influenced by your world. In doing so, you invite others to step into their leadership with you, and that will elevate the success of many.

If you’d like to read some additional posts we’ve done to support people during this current pandemic, click here.