Leading In A Time Of Discord

Jun 9, 2020 | Employees, Leadership

The world (or at least this country) is wrapped up in multiple crises happening at once. The pandemic/health crisis; the economic crisis; the political crisis; and the social injustice crisis.  These crises are impacting everyone in some way. It can feel overwhelming.

People in your company, your family and your town are hurting. There is real pain and stress and some people fighting for their lives (literally and figuratively). 

 It saddens me to see our country in discord, fighting with each other in extremes. It was not how I was raised (do unto others…) and it’s not what I wish for anyone.

And therein lies an opportunity for you.

 How should you behave in a crisis?

 The ancient Chinese word for crisis comes from combining two words: “danger” + “opportunity”. If you are only focused on the danger, you will sink in depression or anger and be passed by the true leaders that see the opportunity. 

We know the dangers, but what are the opportunities?

Create Unity

As entrepreneurs, (and “intra”preneurs) you have a special skill and platform to bring people together, for the betterment of everyone.

 It was always your skill to attract people, to raise their standards, to create a strong culture and shared purpose. You don’t ask employees what their politics are, or their religion, or skin color, or their diseases. You judge them on their fitting into your culture and ability and willingness to be part of a successful team.

The world needs more people like you, and this is your opportunity to shine and be part of the solution.

Find Your Leadership Voice

Your people are listening to you with a special ear these days, they are listening for empathy. They may not even know it, but it has been proven that empathy helps people rebound from stress. 

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, was ahead of the curve, back in 2017 he gave the commencement speech at MIT and warned graduates, “People will try to convince you that you should keep empathy out of your career. Don’t accept this false premise.” 

The good news is you do not need to be born with empathy—it’s a skill you can train. There are plenty of articles to read on this. 

Start by using curiosity — everyone is experiencing these crises differently, so be curious how each person is impacted.

 Your Challenge:

The opportunity remains for you to be your people’s favorite radio station (see my blog on this), but now it’s much more than that.

You can create a safe, productive haven and be a positive role model for all of your people. Leadership is infectious, and in the vacuum, I see a big opportunity for you to grow and fill the void! 

Keep your business goals exciting and forefront, as you guide your company to grow while making a positive impact.

The future belongs to the true crisis entrepreneur!