"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Elbert Hubba
Leaders always put people first
John Maxwell, author of 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership says that during a crisis, real leaders rise and become visible. They show up with openness, honesty and clarity and they always put people first. They ask What is best for the people? How can I lift them up? How can I serve and help them get through the crisis and get better from it?
With a solid focus on people, good leaders rise above the circumstances and see into the future. Their ability to manage their emotions helps them to stay focused and become ambassadors of hope. The key is to keep fear at bay and to not get emotionally caught up in the crisis. But how can the leader give hope to others and show up with clarity when things are so uncertain? In spite of not having all the answers and not knowing when the crisis will be over, leaders can convey that this too shall pass. They also put a great deal of effort into clearly communicating why they’re making the decisions they are. Being clear, honest and authentic is often more important than the decision itself.
Together we will find a way through
Maxwell says that during a crisis people want authenticity more than they want perfection. The leader needs to always tell the truth and stay close to people. And it takes a great deal of courage to tell the truth and admit to not having all the answers. The crisis is an opportunity to set clear priorities, to leverage the team and to convey that together we will find a way through. That’s what hope is. Hope is saying that together we can make things better. It’s not the same as optimism, which is simply the belief that things will get better. It takes no courage to be an optimist but it takes great courage to have hope.
During a crisis, great leaders stand out by inspiring people to develop the right perspective. They help people focus on what they can do and let go of what they cannot control. We cannot control the external events of a crisis but we cancontrol our choices and our responses. As Maxwell reminds us: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! It’s about getting the best out of the situation and using our creativity to solve new problems, to serve and to build wherever we can. This may be the time to review existing practices, to forge new relationships, to adapt and to innovate. Take this opportunity to put people first and to send a message of hope. Together we can overcome this crisis and we can make things better.
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