Leading through Great Challenges

The Leadership Role

We are living and working in complex and unpredictable times.  Now more than ever there is a need for people of all ages, from all backgrounds, and with all types of life experiences to seize leadership opportunities that inspire others to dream, to participate, and to persevere.

The challenge of the COVID-19 environment encourages leaders to find new ways to get things done.   And, if we have learned anything from history, we know that the worst of times can bring out the best in people. Let us take this opportunity to turn challenging opportunities into remarkable successes.

Bringing Out Your Leadership Best

How can a leader refocus and reenergize their teams, their organization, and their own behavior?  What leadership competencies are critical in this current path of uncertainty? There are many philosophies on leadership that give thought and insight on effective leadership approaches.   

One suggestion is to look to James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, coauthors of The Leadership Challenge, to assess leadership competencies in five essential areas: 1.  Model the Way, 2.  Inspire a Shared Vision, 3. Challenge the Process, 4. Enable Others to Act, and 5.Encourage the Heart.

Another leadership suggestion comes from Margie Warrell, whose article, Leading Through Uncertainty:  Six Ways to Navigate the Uncharted, suggests the leader: 1. Reassure: Role Model Self-certainty, 2. Foster Connection: Rally employees behind a shared sense of purpose, 3.  Act Inclusively: Lead from the heart, not just the head, 4. Risk Over-Communication:  Bring everyone along, each step of the way, 5. Show Decisiveness: Beware of waiting for clarity, and 6. Practice Agility:  Build organizational resilience.  

And a third suggestion comes from Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath and Barry Conchie where the suggestion focuses on 1. Building trust, 2. Showing compassion, 3. Providing stability, and 4. Creating hope.     

To bring out your best leadership, consider your strengths and your areas to enhance from the leadership approaches listed above.  Once your strengths and enhancements are listed, create a plan to build on your strengths and to enhance additional leadership skills and abilities.  

A Thought for Moving Forward

A suggested action plan for moving forward: 1. Brainstorm then define the challenges facing you and your team, 2. Assess the risk factors associated with the challenges, 3. Collaborate with others to strategize ways to handle the challenges, 4. Develop tactics with actions plans for each strategy, 5. Prioritize where to begin, 6. Take action, and 7. Review performance to modify, as needed. 

It is my hope that these effective leadership approaches point you in the right direction to successfully navigate through these challenging times.

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