3 ways to keep your leadership capacity off life support

3 ways to keep your leadership capacity off life support

I was watching cable news the other day and heard a comment from a political commentator that struck a chord with me. He indicated how one of the competing tragedies during this pandemic beyond thousands of people losing their lives is FAILED leadership. The material effects and emotional damage run deep whereby the necessary energy and efforts to repair and recover are unfathomable. The best personal defense is to preserve stability and modality at the local level, starting with yourself. I offer three key elements that will help you through this process.

  1. Maintain your integrity. With school yard banter exchanged between individuals pursuing the highest position in the land and visceral mudslinging and personal attacks, it is extremely important that we do not “follow the leader” and model similar behavior. If you are anything like me and grew up on games such as “Simon Says,” then it is equally ingrained in you to mimic similar behavior of our leaders. Not in this season. Now is the time to chart your own path or steady the course; applying core values and beliefs as a guide to keep a solid footing. People in your spear of influence need to witness a model of leadership demonstrative of integrity which reinforces credibility. These actions combat disarray and confusion that is observed in the current political climate.
  2. Make new leadership commitments. With so many loud voices and distractions happening concurrently, it is easy to get sucked into the present displays or representatives of leadership as well as lowered expectations or standards. To the contrary, we should seek ways to reaffirm and reinforce positive models and examples of effective leadership. For example, Congressman John Lewis’ passing reminded me of the fact that we stand on the shoulders of great leaders who made extreme and lifelong sacrifices for what they believed in. Ask yourself, what will become your “Good Trouble?”
  3. Invest in others. Effective leaders create a space for others to be motivated or inspired to follow. This can be achieved through keeping lines of communication open and being in tune and intentional about exploring ways to support others. It could be as simple as asking, “What do you need?” Then, follow through with the necessary resources or offerings to accommodate the requests. It may sound simple, but I’ve witnessed so many leaders with great potential make the misstep of placing their needs before others; which, in the end, stifled growth and reduced morale. Like many acclaimed CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have touted before, if you take care of your people, they will take care of you.

While leadership at the top of the food chain in our country seems bleak, all hope is not lost. Therein lies an opportunity, and it starts with YOU! Through maintaining integrity, re-establishing commitments and investing in others, you can BE the change you are looking for; that we desperately need.

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