There seems to be a big gulf between what business leaders do when compared with the rest of the population.
The rest of the population spend their days listening to wall-to-wall coronavirus updates, confessing their fears to friends and colleagues. They repeat the worst horror stories and share their worries about the future. They contribute to the increasing crescendo of news (that is more noise than news.) Everything is doomed – they’re consumed by fear, worry, and panic. Like a virus, it spreads and affects others.
Leaders are aware of what’s happening, but they focus on keeping their organization afloat. They make plans (and adjust them), handle issues (often balancing on tightropes), and otherwise serve as examples. It’s step by step, focusing on today while keeping the future in mind. They are confident in the presence of others, even if they may get angry or burst into tears when in private. They encourage people to work together, to organize, to negotiate, to work long, hard hours even if they must do so alone. They carry the responsibilities of the livelihood of others, the culmination of many years of work and investment. And they do it step by step.
No-one has to tell them to lead. The buck stops with them – and they know it.
We need more of them to drive the effort that will support others, to get the job done, save the event, rescue the company. Leaders take the hard road when it’s necessary – even when circumstances like fear and panic offer plenty of reasons and opportunities to take an easier way.
Which type are you?
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