Why Leaders Need To Show Up During The Coronavirus Crisis – Part 1
Photo credit: Ann Visser
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Leaders Are Like Lighthouses In The Coronavirus Crisis
More than ever, it’s crucial for leaders to show up during this Coronavirus crisis for the people that are counting on them. Now is not a time for leaders to hide or allow themselves to be overwhelmed by emotions… otherwise, you might become the problem!
“Losing your head in a crisis is a good way to become the crisis,” says young adult author C.J. Redwine.
Instead, leaders need to focus on being a beacon of light in the storm that has spread around the globe.
Just a few minutes down the road from my house sits the Victoria-by-the-Sea lighthouse, which used to be a central part of the community’s once-prosperous settlement in the 1800s.
Lighthouses have played an important role in Prince Edward Island’s history to keep ships from crashing into the treacherous reefs and headlands that surround our island. At no time are lighthouses more important than during a storm, when ships are sailing blind through dangerous waters. Lighthouses guide ships into safe harbour.
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Storms Are When Leaders Are Needed Most
One local story tells of one young woman’s brave actions that saved the lives of many fishermen during a stormy night in the 1900s. Sarah was a young widow who was responsible for tending the lighthouse at Shipwreck Point. But one night, during a storm, the system stopped working and there were still fishermen on the rough seas.
Unless Sarah could get the light working again, they would perish.
However, Sarah had lost her own husband at sea so she was determined to help the fishermen get back into harbour safely. So during that long night, she operated the light by hand and helped to save the fishermen’s lives. Without Sarah’s courageous actions, many lives would have been lost.
Just like this lighthouse helped the fisherman to navigate the stormy seas and make it back to harbour safely, leaders need to show up for their people and help them to navigate this global crisis. Because when a storm comes, that’s when people need a leader the most.
Leaders do this by giving perspective, active hope and security (which I’ll talk more about in part two next week).
Leaders Need To Guide Their People With The Right Info
John Maxwell defines a crisis as an “intense time of difficulty requiring a decision that will be a turning point.” So, your job as a leader is to guide your people through this difficulty. Because for one thing, people have a tendency to make a crisis either worse than it is or less than it is.
And second, both good news and bad news travels fast. Right now, there is a lot of misinformation spreading around the Internet like wildfire.
Part of your job then, is to provide your people with accurate information about what’s going on. For, as Abraham Lincoln said:
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”
For example, if you’re leading an organization you need to share about where the organization is now and where it’s going. This applies to any group of people you’re leading, whether you’re leading a business, team, church or your family.
Photo credit: Ann Visser
What Happens When Leaders Don’t Show Up
What happens if you don’t show up and lead well during this crisis? Your organization will fall fast, according to John Maxwell, just like the fishermen would have drowned on the waters that stormy night in the 1800s if Sarah hadn’t kept the light lit all night.
You’re a lighthouse for the people that you influence.
During this crisis, you’re helping them to navigate their boat on difficult seas so they can make it back safely to shore. Because one day, this crisis will pass and you’ll want to have your team or your family standing safely on the shore with you.
One practical step that you can take right now is to ask yourself this question — how are you showing up right now for the people you’re leading?
Another practical step you can take is to join the waitlist for our NEW upcoming mastermind starting in two weeks called Leading in Crisis to gain practical tips and support to navigate this challenging time.
Struggling to lead during this unprecedented crisis?
Learn how to lead right where you’re at during this global crisis in our NEW upcoming mastermind called Leading in Crisis. Join the waitlist to be the first to know when registration opens up very soon!
How can we show up for the people we lead? Share your advice in the comments below so we can encourage each other!
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