4 Things Leaders Need to Focus on to be More Effective

We’re Never Going Back, We’re Going Better.

It’s the beginning of June, and we’ve officially made it through almost three months of leading in this Coronavirus Pandemic. People are slowly beginning to head back to work as things begin to go back to normal. But are we going back? Some of you aren’t physically heading back to work and the question we want to ask is do we want to go back to normal? 

The “normal” that we were living frankly wasn’t very good. We’re never going to have pre-COVID times days work like we did. It was great, we had fun, some of us didn’t. But that time is gone. We now have transformed to this world of work where, for the most part, we’re not going to be sitting in the same room. For the majority of us, we’re going to be separated by distance. 

We’re not going back, we’re never going back, but we are going better. 

I’m beginning to see families spending more quality time together and people spending more time outdoors. I’m also seeing businesses both quickly innovate and deeply question certain aspects of the way things were “normally.” We’re going better because what’s happening in the world now is that we are appreciating the fact that we all have so many different elements of our life right and we could frankly do a lot of those elements much more effectively by being home and not being in our cars all the time.

I know for those of us who have gone back to work already, things are not normal. For those of us who haven’t gone back, we’re contemplating going back and what that’s going to be like. Korn Ferry explained “This crisis is an unnerving test of corporate leadership”, in their recent article Leadership in an outbreak. It’s true, and I know as leaders, we’re up for that challenge and that’s what we signed up for. 

What I want to look at is what is our role as leaders in making this time better so we can be more effective.

Leaders can become more effective as they head back to work through engagement on these topics.

To get better from here, leaders must focus on the 4 P’s for effective leadership; passion, planning, personal philosophy, and personal connection.

To be more effective, focus on passion.

Focus on Passion

One of the things we need to look at is passion. In Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit, she explains that those who have the most passion, who are more focused on the things that they absolutely love, are going to be more engaged in their lives. Before this all began, more people were engaged fully in work, because they were able to go to work and be fully engaged. We don’t have that now. 

We have to build that sense of being fully engaged in the work that we do wherever we are at now. 

Personally, I’m being challenged to step into the work of contributing online and of sharing my passion, which is team leadership. That is what my passion is, and I’m throwing myself into it. I’m challenging myself to really share that passion with you, because I know that you want to dive into your own growth as a team leader to make a big difference. For all of us, we must get clear on what our passion is and to have all activities streaming up to that one passion to get better. As a team leader, your team needs you to focus on building your team.  You must get clear on all of the actions you must take to demonstrate that passion.

Where can you get more clear on your passion to become a more effective leader?

To be more effective, focus on planning.

Focus on Planning

In order for us to work as a team through distance, we need to be very good at planning. Teams need to wake up every single day with extreme clarity on what they’re going to do today.

Over the weekend, I just put together all the events, items, videos and blogs that I need to get finished by the end of June. It’s a lot and it scares the life out of me and I just get shaky thinking about it. I’m getting very clear on planning. From a leadership standpoint, that’s one of the one of the keys that you’re going to want to support your people in as well as to get them very, very clear on planning out their days. 

Where do you need to focus more on planning for yourself and helping your own team on planning?

To be more effective, focus on your personal philosophy.

Focus on a Personal Philosophy 

What is your personal philosophy? My personal philosophy is team.

 I believe that through team:

  • You grow
  • You find out who you are 
  • You get more done 
  • You make it 
  • You have a significant impact in the world. 

And so my challenge moving forward is to build that team. I’ve been building a team for my video recording, for social media, for people that I can support and can support me to bring my message of team into the world. So it’s really important that you get clear on your personal philosophy and that every action drives from that personal philosophy.

What is your personal philosophy? 

What is the personal philosophy of those on your team?

Those are the questions that you want to explore this month to become a more effective leader as we move forward and head back to work.

To be more effective, focus on personal connection.

Focus on Strengthening Personal Connection

It was so much easier to go to the office and talk to people. Now we need to get better at understanding what’s going on with ourselves personally.  For me personally, I’ve been separated from humans and the distance and separation has been tough. I need more connection in my life.  I’ve reached out to friends of mine that I can really share and bring my ideas to life to build that personal connection. In order for us to really launch into this time where we’re not going back and we’re going to get better. 

We need to stay on top of the connections that we have with our friends, our family, and with our team. As a team leader, it is imperative that you are building those personal connections, because we don’t have the physical connections anymore. This is going to be our biggest challenge. As we move forward, we’re really going to be challenged to strengthen those connections. To go better, we have to build that skill set to ask people not just “how are doing?” but “how are you really doing?” to build a personal connection.

To build this, as the leader you need to know what their philosophy is, what they are passionate about, if  they are living their passion, if they are staying personally connected to people, if they are taking care of themselves.

How can you build the personal connection with those members of your team?

We’re never going back, we’re going better. It might seem like the best solution is we all head back into these work cultures where we all work on the same floor, but that’s not going to happen. It is a lonely world, but it doesn’t have to be. We can share these connections really one on one, through conversation through spending a lot of time with how people are doing. 

If you get anything from this, I think your number one role right now, as a leader, as a human is to go out and just ask people, how are you doing now? How are you really doing

My focus over the next month is to look at the skill sets to build a team of human beings working from anywhere who now have more time, space, and freedom who can really become who they truly are, without having to come to the office every day. To do this, it’s going to be imperative to get clearer on our passions, planning our philosophy, and getting personally connected both to ourselves and to the people that mean the most to us. So stay tuned online this month as we dig deeper into becoming more effective leaders as we head back to work, wherever work may be.

Additional Resources:

https://www.kornferry.com/insights/articles/perspective-leadership-in-an-outbreak

https://www.inc.com/entrepreneurs-organization/10-steps-to-effective-coronavirus-crisis-leadership.html

https://www.bain.com/insights/coronavirus-how-to-be-the-leader-your-people-need-right-now/

https://hbr.org/2020/04/what-good-leadership-looks-like-during-this-pandemic

https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7-leadership-principles-for-managing-in-the-time-of-coronavirus