There have been few times in our history that have demanded as much from our leaders as the coronavirus pandemic. One of the top qualities we need is resiliency, the ability to recognize the harsh realities of the day and inspire people to believe we can power through the crisis, and take action to do so.
Read these recommendations for the kind of leaders we need:
Have a message that makes others want to believe and follow them in times of crisis. We all hope that the current crisis will come to an end, that the world will get back to “normal,” and that we all will be able to pursue our careers and lives with optimism. And so, we look to those leaders who can chart a path forward.
Whatever your role and title, seize every opportunity to lead others to the “high ground” by giving them a vision of what’s possible and what’s needed to achieve the possible. And don’t be afraid to deliver the same message over and over again. Your followers need to know that you believe in it deeply.
Develop a “personal why” that gives your life meaning. This helps you better face setbacks and challenges. Also, look for ways that crisis and adversity may connect to your larger life purpose.
No one will follow a leader who is halting in his style or uncertain about how things will turn out. A leader who is confident earns the trust of those around him.
A leader who has weathered difficult times establishes an ability to work through these circumstances. That self-confidence comes from having bounded back before. This is very helpful for dealing with situations that companies are facing today.
Showing confidence means that you’ll have a game plan, and you’ll inspire your team to carry it out. Remember, it is a group effort. Having confidence also means consulting others and having the courage to seek input from the whole team. Ask for their ideas about next steps. They will appreciate being involved, and the outcome is likely to be better if you seek a diversity of viewpoints.
Develop and nurture a broad network of personal and professional relationships. Personal relationships create a strong base of support, a critical element in achieving goals, dealing with hardships, and developing perspective. Remember that relationships are important for your team too.
Resilient leaders have tenacity, or grit. They are not overwhelmed by the challenges they face, but they have determination to get beyond those obstacles.
This tenacity requires long-term thinking. Having this tenacity is particularly crucial in times of crisis, when the present reality can seem bleak and unsettling. The tenacious leader doesn’t give up just because the solution lies far into the future. Tenacious leaders are determined to see things through to the end. They don’t let anything get in the way of their commitment to creating a strong future.
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Reed Hastings—in fact, all successful entrepreneurs—have displayed a tenacity that got them through the toughest of times. They experienced failure but were not undone by it. They looked to the long term.