“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie
There are times in our leadership journeys when the seas seem pretty calm. There’s stuff going on, but it feels manageable. We deal with this particular issue, then we make this particular decision, then we work to take advantage of this particular opportunity.
Then there are times like the ones we’re living in. The seas are crashing in over the boat. There’s so much stuff going on that we’re not sure we’re able to manage any of it. We deal with this particular issue and make this particular decision and work to take advantage of this particular opportunity – all at the same time.
I hear leaders talk about how everything that’s going on just wears them down. They feel exhausted and stressed and overwhelmed, and they feel like there’s no end in sight. I get done with conversations with a lot of leaders and have a hard time feeling anything but pity.
There is no magic answer for surviving in times like these, never mind thriving. I don’t have some simple, catchy little saying that’s going to make sense of it all and immediately revolutionize your life. There is no silver bullet that’s going to suddenly solve all of your problems.
But that doesn’t mean you should just throw up your hands and give up. For starters, you’re a leader, which means times like this are the reason you’re there. When seas are calm, there are plenty of organizations that could almost get by on autopilot.
Crazy times like these are when you’re actually needed. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be all fun and games, but you as a leader need to embrace the fact that right now is when you have a chance to have a huge impact. Your organization needs you to lead now more than ever – step up and do it.
And make sure that when you’re stepping up and doing it that you guard your energy carefully. Don’t let yourself go down negative rabbit holes. Don’t let yourself get distracted by small things. Do make sure you take care of yourself physically. Do make sure that whatever recharges your batteries (reading, gardening, fishing, golf, whatever) doesn’t get pushed to the side.
Your organization needs you to lead right now more than ever before, and maybe more than it ever will again. Embrace that, and make sure that you put yourself in a place physically and mentally and emotionally that allows you to be the leader you have to be. This is your chance – make the most of it.