First, COVID-19 altered the world, perhaps forever. Now waves of understandable protest and anger engulf the country.
The only good news is it seems like we may have skipped the murder hornets…
And that crises give leaders a time to prove themselves.
Today, I’m joined by Patrick Lencioni, who has already proven himself as a leader as Founder & President of The Table Group and author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
He goes over the 3 most important ways you can be a more effective leader through the current crises.
1. Be exceedingly human
Patrick: It’s not a normal time.
I wrote an email right when this started that said to leaders: This is the time to be a leader. If you’re a leader and you’re bummed out by this — I mean we should be sad about it — but this is why you’re a leader.
Be exceedingly human. This is not a time to be perfect. This is not a time to be falsely confident.
Be human. Let people see that you, too, are human, that you have concerns about your family and about the business and that you’re not different than they are.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team talks about how vulnerability is what breeds trust.
And as a leader, if you’re not saying, yeah, I have concerns myself and I have some challenges, people aren’t going to trust you
2. Be persistent and transparent
Patrick: Be persistent. It’s very easy as a leader to think, well I need to leave people alone.
You know, they’re at home with their families and this is a really difficult time so I just won’t bother them very much.
But it’s the opposite. You need to constantly be in communication with them, be checking in with them, sending them information and your perspectives.
No one is going to look back in October and say: I just got so tired of him checking in with me and caring about what I was feeling and thinking and communicating with me. I wish he just left me alone.
That is a crazy thing to do, but it’s very natural for people to think I should do that. Most of us are sitting at home really hungry for connection.
And always err on the side of transparency.
People appreciate that and they respond very well to it.
And admit what you don’t know. I don’t know how this is going to turn out. I don’t know what’s going to come from this.
But I know that we’re going to be together in it, we’re going to work through it and I’m going to give everything I have for you.
3. Be creative
Patrick: Be creative. Do things that you’ve never done before.
It’s crazy that this sounds so simple, but don’t be afraid to look silly at times.
I mean, this is a silly example but again, it’s natural, but just talk to your people about things that you don’t normally talk to them about.
It’s just so tempting to be “professional.”
But this is a time to be wisely unprofessional and to be effective, but not efficient.
If we think that this is the time to use our time efficiently, we’re probably gonna miss the human part of that.
So be creative.
What’s your rallying cry?
Patrick: Our new rallying cry is to make this a time of cohesiveness, innovation and growth.
And I don’t mean revenue growth, but I mean let’s grow and become better.
We’re going to pull together more than we normally would. We’re going to come up with ideas that we never would have been able to come up with and we’re going to grow personally and as an organization as a result of that.
Even during times like this, we can grown be innovative and, more importantly, we can get tighter as a team.
Because when this is over — in June, July, maybe October — we want to look back and say: You know, if it weren’t for all that, we would never be as good as we are today.
As the world continues to spiral into ever more confusing and chaotic times, there are silver linings we should cherish.
We have the opportunity and the motivation to help each other through this, to encourage the best in each other, to be more empathetic and open.
And above all else, we can transform how we lead — both ourselves and our teams.
This blog is based on a LinkedIn Live #FlipMyFunnel podcast with guest Patrick Lencioni, where Patrick shared a ton of other useful tips and answered pressing questions from listeners.
Check us out on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or here.