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In my many years as a leader, I have learned how to face challenges and lead through them for the well-being of others. And not surprisingly the challenge I am facing now is the same as yours. How do I respond in the face of the novel coronavirus pandemic?
You may not lead three organizations across multiple campuses that are full of people. But I do know that you have choices in how you respond to this pandemic, and how you affect the people around you.
Leadership at its most basic level is influencing others. Your influence might be among your family or household, your employees or coworkers, your friends and neighbors, and even the people you pass by with a six foot distance between you. And, your influence is likely through a screen and a keypad!
So let’s be proactive, lead, and be a positive influence on those around us.
When faced with a challenge, I stay calm. A leader that affects others for the positive is not swayed by sensationalism and does not react to every message or phenomenon occurring around us. We need to stay calm in order to assess the facts, think, and make sound decisions.
Calm shows itself in our demeanors. Our calm spreads to others, especially when people are sensitive, feel uncertain, and are fearful. A sense of calm eases the minds and emotions of those we are responsible for. This empowers them to make sound decisions as well.
But here’s the real challenge. We’re all human, which means we are susceptible to fear, whether the fear is reasonable or not. How do we stay calm when stress, emotions, exhaustion, or fear are threatening to rob us of our calm?
For me, this is when I lean into my relationship with Jesus Christ, my leader. Throughout the Bible and in my years of personal experiences I find that even in the worst of times and my most difficult challenges, I can choose to not be anxious. Instead I choose thankfulness and ask Jesus Christ for help, and “the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, guards my heart and my mind.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
Stay tuned for more insights on how to lead in a time of challenge, and be a person that makes the positive difference in your community!