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April 3, 2020

Lessons in Leadership During a Crisis

By NOW Marketing Group
Lessons in Leadership During a Crisis -

“We are all looking at the same mountain but at a different perspective. Give yourself permission to take a step to the left or the right to gain a different viewpoint- Angus Nelson.

It's in times of uncertainty or crisis when we truly find perspective and the courage to pivot. We couldn’t think of a better person to share perspective and insight into leading through a crisis than Angus Nelson, executive leadership coach for men. Our conversation with Angus led to some amazing insight into how we, as leaders can show-up for our businesses, team and communities in a way that will not only see your business through these challenges, but you’ll find yourself stronger and your team more empowered than before.


Perspective and Attitude.

There’s a quote that says:

"Crises don’t build character, crises reveal character.” 

It’s in moments like these that we are seeing the true character of our people. 

As we are trying to navigate through such a world-wide disruption, we are seeing reactions that range from panic to “we’ve got this.” When you’re seeing people react - even online - we need to keep in mind that they’re coming from a perspective that is completely unique to their situations. It’s a perspective or point-of-view you may be completely unaware of… parents who are new to working from home might be trying to navigate the stress trying to create a work environment and maintaining a level of productivity while balancing their children and/or spouse in their work space. Or you may have someone who is coming from an event space and they just got told that their next $50,000 of revenue just got slashed and now all of the sudden the level of anxiety and stress from where they’re coming from is now being projected into conversation without them even knowing it and they might be a little quicker to get angry or upset.

We have every right to be upset and angry at the situation we are in, especially as we are facing the challenge of keeping doors open, employees paid and healthy and an economy that is rocky. Yet, we can’t live in that mindset.

Give yourself a moment to grieve for the situation, then it’s time to “step to the left or a step to the right to gain a different perspective.” @angusnelson (click to tweet)

Evoking positivity during this time you’ll come across people who feel you aren’t taking the seriousness of the situation to heart. Here’s the thing… there can be fearful things happening that don’t require your fear, there can be things that cause you uncertainty but that doesn’t mean you need to go to a place of panic. It's in this place of panic where we can’t operate, because we can’t see objectively in that moment. When we operate in a place of panic, choices are made from desperation and are often not the best decisions we’ve made.  

It's in moments of crisis that we need to keep our wits about us, breathe and take a moment to think about what our nexts steps should be. Don’t ignore it, but take a moment to think about what we have power over, and what it is we can do to move forward. Taking a “step to the left or the right and see the issue from a different perspective.” In that moment, you can have grace and empathy and compassion - or you can experience clarity, and see a plan or a path.

Good Vibes Only - Lessons in Leadership  During Crisis - NOW Marketing GroupMindset and Emotion.

Mindset is everything right now. We are seeing emotion-driven decisions being made. Emotion is just energy-in-motion - it has to get released somehow and somewhere, or it creates havoc in our bodies leading to sickness or emotional distress. As we are taking in a saturation of media and emotionally-triggered responses in our social media, what we are taking in can affect what we are putting out. However, how we respond as leaders and how we show up in a way that takes that negative narrative and shifts it to that of one fueled by positivity is a powerful thing.

Think about this for a moment. 

“What you hear about, you think about, what you think about you talk about and what you talk about you bring about.” @angusnelson (click to tweet)

This is a time where we need to be self-aware and emotionally intelligent. To know where you're coming from and where your emotion is anchored so you can see a level of objectivity to make beneficial next step decisions.

Think about what you are fueling yourself with… what are you putting in?  To operate from a place of power, establish what you’re listening to so you can react objectively. Reacting objectively will come in from a place of generosity, abundance and power. You’ll no longer be the victim of circumstances. We don’t have to accept that label, instead take a label of "creative" or "world changer" or "people developer."

We define who we want to be, not the circumstances we face. We get to choose how we react and we don’t have to operate in a place of fear or desperation. Operate from a place outside your comfort zone. You’ll rise to a place that’s going to prepare you for what life is preparing for you.

Crisis to Opportunity.

“When you can see opportunity in the midst of a crisis - that’s where the magic happens.” @angusnelson (click to tweet)

While everyone else is flailing you’re figuring it out. If you look at recent business successes many major companies grew from a recession because they had the courage to leverage the circumstances in a way that became an opportunity. If you can look at what’s happening right now and find a way to pivot you will be able to survive any challenge you face. How can you, in your business, take a step back and think about what you can now make possible. Every time you face a wall, don’t look at it as a block, use this to think about what this can make possible - that mindset comes from a place of power.

Lead Differently.

When you feel stress or pressure - channel that powerful energy in motion and pivot. Release those creative juices and give yourself the chance to flourish. Pivoting may give you the opportunity to lead differently. 

difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations - NOW Marketing Group - Leading during crisis

Lean on the people who are around you. Give those team members the opportunity to lead, see what they’re capable of… develop those leaders around you. What if you create a new norm in your company… trust your team and raise up people around you who can help you evolve to a new way of leadership. That’s when real magic happens.

We all have felt the fear of failure. That nagging “what if I screw up,” honestly, things are already pretty screwed up as they are. However, what you can screw up is reacting according to emotion. If we have self-doubt, or are intimidated, then we need to change the script, it’s not all about you. Everyone around you is cheering for your success, so what if you involve them in the process.

What are some ways we can listen to the customer and maybe they will invite you into the discovery of new products and services you can create that you never thought of before. What if you can go to your team and say hey guys, how can we figure this out and rely on them? Instead of leading what if you shepherd, or facilitate or bring collaboration. Crisis should point us back to humanity. Idea sharing is the best way to come up with next-level plans. How you can take your business to places it hasn’t been before. That humility to be open, to take a step to the left or the right.

Transformational opportunity arises when you have the eyes to see. So you’ve got to do the work. Rise above the noise and see objectively.

Two common elements of high performers

  1. Bias toward action - you could be feeling fear and you don’t know what you need to do. That’s fine. Put that on pause, step away and think about who I need to be in the moment right now. What does my company need me to be? What does my family need me to be? What does my future need me to be and then start setting your intention that I’m going to become that person right here, right now and I’m going to do whatever it takes. Take action to be the person you need/want to be. 

  2. They never look backwards. Always looking at the next step. Look at the leadership you admire, they have the inability to look back. No “wish I would have/could haves.” None of that serves you.

“Don’t 'should' all over yourself” @JeffHowell76 (click to tweet)

Often we hold onto the things we have always known and we think we can’t do it any other way. Let go so you can open your hand to receive something new. Right now we are being forced to take on something new. This is uncomfortable but as you work through it you will build the confidence and know you will come out stronger and more resilient.

Mindset is the difference that makes all the difference.

You were born for this day to do what you need to do and if you are getting caught in all of the emotion, you are missing out on the biggest opportunity of your life. This is your opportunity to shine.


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Tags: leadership, leader, crisis communication


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