During this pandemic, leaders are needing to react to a fast-moving situation. Neil Young, Senior Pastor at Causeway Coast Vineyard, has penned this helpful reflection for leaders everywhere.
Many have said it before, but these are definitely days that are strange for us all. Trying to lead in the middle of it has been a huge challenge for us, and as I thought about other people who are leading in this season, whether in business, church, health, tourism, hospitality etc. I thought I’d write something that will hopefully bring some encouragement – 5 things to remember:
1. Remember, you weren’t trained for this
I have to keep reminding myself of this. The fact is, no one trained us to handle a pandemic and so we aren’t going to lead perfectly through it. The last time we led in a global pandemic was a couple of minutes ago, so remember in the midst of trying to make correct calls for other people, ourselves and our families that we are doing the best we can. Give yourself a pat on the back.
2. There are lots of right answers
Pretty much every discussion our team has involves multiple options. Many options are correct whilst conflicting, few of them are necessarily wrong. Sometimes they all seem right. It’s so much easier as a leader when there are clear right and wrongs but in these days we seem to be faced with a bunch of confusing right decisions and only a few wrong ones. Don’t worry, we got this.
3. Others opinions are strong
Whichever ‘right’ decision we make, others will disagree. This is normal as a leader, but in a time where there is such uncertainty, the opinions of others become stronger and more frequent. This doesn’t mean that we are any more right or wrong, and of course, we must listen to feedback, but let’s not let the volume or the tone of peoples opinions dictate how we make those decisions.
4. Think marathon, not a sprint
Because everyone is wondering how this will impact them and because all of their questions are very important, we can feel overwhelmed in this season. We want to respond to questions immediately and we want to provide direction constantly. Whilst I think it is important in a moment that is quick-moving to be available, we can’t get sucked into being constantly on, constantly reacting and constantly accessible. There is every chance that this will last for a while but what is more important is that we last beyond it!
5. Don’t emotionally isolate
Because of all the above, we can forget to process how we are doing. We think we are the only ones experiencing the complexity, but whilst our situation will have its own unique moments, there are many others who are feeling the same. So, lift the phone, connect, ask others how they are doing, maybe let others know that you are finding it difficult. What we’ll find is that this won’t decrease their perception of our leadership but will most probably increase it and we’ll feel better for it too.
Well done for leading in this season. We have more to go but let’s be praying for one another as we take the journey!