8 Leadership Lessons Coming Out of COVID

No one would say this crisis is a good thing. But great leaders understand the connection between crisis and opportunity. Whether you lead an organization, a business, a church, or a team within a larger organization, here are “8 Leadership Lessons Coming Out of COVID19.”

1. You must lead. Leaders lead. It’s what they do. Crisis separates great leaders from casual ones. Yes, you should evaluate all options, consider wise counsel, and think through contingencies. But you must make decisions, and you must lead. You’re the leader. That’s what leaders do.

“Crisis separates great leaders from casual ones.”

2. You must lead from conviction. Opinions will abound. Disagreements with your decisions will multiply. Listen and give credence to those who speak truth into your life and your leadership from pure motivation. Revise your plan when prudence demands it. But understand that passionate conviction fuels a great leader’s momentum through seasons of crisis and innovation.

3. You must be laser-focused on the mission. When safety nets fail and organizational reductions are inevitable, the mission of your organization must govern every step and drive every decision. Lose the mission and you’ll lose the organization. Who are you and what, exactly, are you doing here? The answer should be clear, concise, and consistent.

“When safety nets fail and organizational reductions are inevitable, the mission of your organization must govern every step and drive every decision. Lose the mission and you’ll lose the organization.”

4. Your events or products are not your mission. Your mission is to add value to your customers’ lives, inspire hope, enlarge the Great Commission, equip and resource people, etc. The products can change. The events can be postponed or repackaged. Such changes should never affect the mission itself. Don’t grieve the loss/change of your events or products to the end of losing focus on your mission.

5. Your team must own the mission. When temporary reductions are necessary and the path forward is not clear, only one thing will keep your team together: they must own the mission. Each team member must know and be able to articulate how the mission of your organization is making a difference, and how their role on the team is adding value to that mission.

6. You must cultivate a healthy team environment. The leader is responsible for cultivating and facilitating an environment of trust on the team. To do this, he or she must model transparency, be intentionally encouraging, and cultivate a safe place to speak into processes. Creativity and innovation become top-tier organizational values through seasons of crisis. But they will only flow where there is safety and respect among team members and team leaders.

“Creativity and innovation become top-tier organizational values through seasons of crisis. But they will only flow where there is safety and respect among team members and team leaders.”

7. There are rock stars on your team who you have been underestimating. You’ve searched carefully for teammates/employees to fill specific roles with specific titles and they’ve been buckled tightly in those seats while the bus was cruising. But when COVID cut the wheels from under the bus, some of your team members rose to the challenge to think dynamically, serve sacrificially, motivate positively, and innovate creatively. They are total rock stars. As the leader, make note of this and think through how they can add the most value to the team in the future.

8. You can do more with less. Isn’t that amazing? For years you’ve been concerned with turning profits, maximizing spaces, and planning expansion. But suddenly, with a laser-sharp focus on the mission and a team full of creative and innovative people, you’re beginning to see that more is not always the answer to better. You’ve been forced, through this crisis, to minimize overhead, cut production costs, rethink mobile officing, and trim fat in the budget you didn’t even notice before. Your organization’s ongoing success will be well served if you carry this mindset with you into its future.

“More is not always the answer to better.”

Crisis presents opportunity. The positive impact of your team or organization’s future will be directly linked to your own growth as a leader through this season. Don’t coast. Don’t drift. Make the most of every moment today by leaning away from the disaster and toward the opportunity.

Grace and Peace,
Tony

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