Maintain a sense of perspective
Exercising leadership involves recognising current challenges in light of the larger situation, placing it in its moment of history and understanding that there is a future beyond.
Below are a few points to assist:
- See the bigger picture: It is helpful to recognise that leaders hold two, potentially contrasting truths together at the same time: being present, whilst maintaining a bigger perspective.
Leadership involves both stepping in and being attentive to the here and now, but also stepping back and getting ‘up on the balcony’ to see the broader picture. Once we grasp that this too shall pass, leadership then involves looking for what may be coming ahead and preparing for the new future beyond this.
- Reframe uncertainty as opportunity: We may be conditioned to think uncertainty is something negative to be removed, however, this leaves us with a false expectation and fails to prepare us for challenges ahead, of which uncertainty may be a feature.
Therefore, challenging our assumptions and reframing uncertainty as an opportunity for new ways of working to emerge, such as telehealth or working from home, is a powerful perspective on which to draw upon.
- Focus on what’s going well: Intentionally noticing what you and others are doing well. Celebrate the small wins, tap into positive emotions that can directly reduce stress, increase resilience, and slow down our thinking.
Further resources to explore:
- READ Leading through the duration of the COVID-19 emergency
- READ ANZSOG explores how Adaptive Leadership concepts, including ‘stepping onto the balcony’ can assist at the present time
- READ McKinsey explains the 5Rs (Resolve, Resilience, Return, Reimagine and Reform) that describe the phases of collective disruption and how to navigate these
- READ The Guardian’s suggestions around remaining positive throughout the challenging situation