Aim Higher: How leaders are coping with COVID-19

Coping with COVID-19

Sitting down with my colleagues for this “Aim Higher” podcast panel was, in a way, both very soothing and very stressful at the same time. It was wonderful because it’s an activity that harks back to the time before COVID-19 entered all our lives. And I suspect you have something like that in your life, too: a take-out meal you still get or a place you go for a walk or a show you watch or a hobby you enjoy—something that is, essentially, unchanged by the pandemic. And you get into it and for a minute or an hour you forget the past nine months. Which is, I think, a break we all need.

But for this panel discussion, we were specifically discussing the pandemic. And so, in this familiar setting, with my colleagues and friends, we delved into the ways that leaders are impacted by COVID-19: how it affects us, our families, our teams, and our leadership journeys. We forced ourselves to dwell on this very difficult topic and really think about what it means, as leaders, to do the work of leadership during a time that is both painful and unprecedented.

 

“Leaders are relying on the ‘trust bank’ built pre-COVID. What happens when that runs out? Trust in a business setting often boils down to keeping your production value high.” – Skip Prichard

 

Acknowledge the Journey

The first thing I want you, as someone reading and listening and interested in leadership to do, is what we did: acknowledge that it is one of the hardest leadership journeys we will all face, because it is global, relentless and without a clear endpoint. You can’t solve this alone; you can’t “lead your way out of” the pandemic. What you can do, though, is move forward with your teams, and with the help of others who care. And my guests have some great advice along those lines.

 

“During times of stress, leaders can share their vulnerability, but it has to be part of figuring out how to get the job done.” – Skip Prichard

 

 

Take Inventory

We touched quickly on several themes, and I’d suggest you take an inventory of your own thoughts in these areas after listening to theirs:

  • Dealing with stress–both yours and your teams’
  • The importance of trust during times of stress, and while working remotely
  • The role of technology during the crisis, and what these changes will mean long-term
  • Professional development during this time
  • Weariness and its cure: resilience

The panel shared their experiences and then went on to give some great practical advice you can take advantage of today. Give a listen.

 

Listen to Coping with Covid-19 by clicking here.

 

“Many leaders have risen to the challenge of being more empathetic during the pandemic.” – Tammi Spayde

 

Make Decisions

As leaders, we’re often asked to make plans further down the road than everyone else. With a situation like this pandemic? We don’t really know what “down the road” means right now, but my guest Rebekah Kilzer made a great point I’d like to leave you with. She said that when she can, she’s making decisions now that give her more options. I think that’s great advice. When there are more “roads” to go down? You’ll have more flexibility with your team when we move beyond this crisis to whatever is next.

 

“Being responsive builds trust, when the only thing you sometimes see during COVID is the work getting done.” – Rebekah Kilzer

 

“Working at home during COVID-19 has leveled the playing field for distance workers.” – Drew Bordas

 

 

Image Credit: Charles Deluvio

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