During my career, I have seen a lot of uncertain times. I recall vividly the Y2K panic, the financial crisis of 2008, and most recently the Covid-19 era and its ongoing aftermath.
At the time, each of these periods added to the stress of leadership. Yet, leaders during these times survived, and many thrived.
It started with Resilience.
As a leader myself and having the responsibility of helping other leaders be successful, I was able to observe how leaders went about being resilient.
There were 3 key things that these leaders did.
First of all, the leaders bounced back quickly.
2008 is still fresh in my mind. As the world economy seemed to plummet, the hits kept coming on a daily basis. Every day seemed to bring more and more bad news. It would have been easy to simply run and hide.
But I watched something else entirely.
I watched leaders take the hits, handle their frustration or fear quickly, and move on. The successful leaders did not dwell on the problem, they processed it and forged ahead.
Which brings me to the second step that successful leaders used to deal with setbacks. They took initiative.
Acting quickly after a setback moves the mind to a place of control, away from uncertainty. We are actually doing something about the setback, not lingering, not letting the uncertainty take control.
That is the biggest issue with uncertainty…..the feeling of being out of control. Taking initiative softens that uncertainty by allowing us to have control.
The final step to having resilience, and what seems to be the hardest, is Practicing Self Care.
Of the 3, this seemed to be the most difficult. Leaders were very focused on the business, and often on the well-being of the people who worked for them. But often they forgot about themselves.
Unfortunately, I saw more than a few start to burn out during this time. The ones who were able to keep their sanity were the ones who started with caring for themselves.
What happens with self-care is that it creates space in one’s mind to be resilient, to bounce back quickly and to take action. It is the enabler of resilience.
Self-care is something different for everyone, and we could spend a lot of time discussing (and probably will in the near future). Whether it be playing sports, spending time with children, meditating, or even raising chickens (yes, I did see that), the important thing is that you put aside the time for yourself.
Resilience is crucial to being a successful leader in uncertain times. Remember these 3 steps as you navigate these times, and you will find yourself on the other side with a good experience.
It can be very isolating as a leader in uncertain times. I offer a free coaching session to those who receive my newsletter, sign up here! https://calendly.com/wade-thomas/free-coaching-session