As entrepreneurs and game-changers, you are the ones at the forefront of change. Right now, in this short window, there is a moment where everyone and everything is shifting -and it’s something you’ve been preparing for your whole life. How can you make a difference right now – be it with your company, your leadership team, your customers or even your product?
Karlin Sloan is a global leadership & development coach, CEO of Sloan Group International and author of the new book, Inspiring Leadership for Uncertain Times. Here Karlin explains a few ways in which you can make a difference.
Remember that not everyone is as resilient and change-adapted as you are. Particularly those people who work for you
Have compassion for those who are struggling with change. While you were built to adapt, grow, learn, and persevere, that might not be the case with your employees. Research shows that leaders have overall higher levels of resilience than the people they lead, and the most important lesson we can learn from that is to start where they are, not where you are. That means practising “ostentatious listening” and using your empathy to see where your team is before you push forward into a positive and optimistic future vision. The rule is to accept and acknowledge reality, then focus on a positive future.
Be courageous and confront the deepest issues in society that you want to change and influence through your work. Be a voice for the change you are aiming for. If you’re the leader – people are looking to you as the voice of the brand.
What does that look like? If you believe that your product or service can help people – highlight how it helps them right now? Does your service help stressed-out people calm down? Does your ingenious app give people a sense of community or a way to claw back precious time? What is your company stance on inclusion and building a more just and accepting world? What is your commitment to your community?
Take a pause before you react, to anything
Yesterday I watched a perfectly sane, reasonable executive friend of mine cause a major disturbance on her creative agency team because she jumped into action too soon in order to get everyone working again. After asking everyone to take a day off to reflect on racism in the USA and how their team could “be the change” she called everyone back to work because of a client proposal opportunity.
It did not land well! Before taking rapid action, take a pause and think about the outcome you want and how your behaviour can best achieve that outcome. If “Andrea” had taken a moment to think, she would have realised that she was sabotaging her own message and if she’d waited half a day she would have had a more motivated, inspired, and engaged team.
Give yourself some inspiration on a daily basis… because moods are contagious
If you have moments of doubt, stress, pain, grief or loss, it’s all part of the human experience of change and challenge. You deserve to have joy no matter what your circumstance and the truth is, your team will thank you for lifting up their moods as well. Find the moments of gratitude, grace and joy that you can and pass them along.