The way you show up as a leader for your people right now, is of huge importance
A few days ago I was speaking with a client, Mark, a Director in his organisation. He’s got a team of about 100 people with 6 direct reports. He wanted to help his people make this big transition to working from home effectively yet wasn’t really sure where to start. What I’ve observed over the last week or so is that people are unclear, they’re unsure what their role is as a leader at the moment.
Because the business has changed, the world has changed.
Let’s be clear – your role is still to lead. It’s really, really simple. People need you, right now, to lead.
And what is that about?
That’s about role modelling leadership every single day.
In particular, it’s about staying connected to your people. Being visible. And by visible, what I mean is they know, and they feel your care. They feel connected to you.
People are craving some kind of certainty, in what is now an incredibly uncertain world. You have a responsibility as a leader to begin to create some of that certainty for them. Even if that creation of certainty is simply that you are showing up for them.
You don’t know all the answers yet, you don’t know what’s coming next. Yet you need to be sure in the obligation that you have to your people to lead them.
There is a lot of busyness right now. There’s a lot of overwhelm about having to make massive change, there are so many things to do. We are changing the way that we work, where we work, how we work, who’s actually working, who’s not working. Yet through this, you must stay visible to your people…be the constant, be the certainty.
Now is not the time to stop your regular communication with your people. If you have regular contact with your people one-on-one, whether it’s weekly, fortnightly, you must maintain it. You need to keep as many of those routines in place because that creates that level of surety, that level of certainty.
People can rely on and trust in you as their leader if you keep this foundation in place. If you don’t have one-on-ones in place yet, please, please create some, or at the very least, a way for your group or your team to connect on a regular basis. It doesn’t matter that you’re dispersed or working in different conditions. You still need to create that level of connection and team, and you as the leader have a responsibility to make sure that that happens.
- What you are doing to keep your team connected?
- How do you keep in regular contact with your team members?
- What do you focus on apart from the work in progress?
- How is it working for you? For them?
This helps you to know how they are going, to know what their concerns are, and what they need help with. If you know that, then you can actually address it. Which is not always about being able to take action, but about being able to give them an ear. Someone who will listen to them, someone who is there for them and available to support them. And this is you, role modelling leadership. It’s what you need to do every single day.
How you show up every day is the demonstration of your leadership. This won’t last forever.
In 18 months’ time, what do you want the narrative to be about your leadership during this period?
What do you want your people to reflect on in terms of how you supported them, how you were there for them? So now is not the time to stop your one-on-ones. Now is the time to make sure that you have them regularly, and if you haven’t before, start them.
I’d love to know your thoughts.
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