By Tim Arnold - PRESIDENT, LEADERS FOR LEADERS
There are certain moments in our lives that, from that point on, nothing would ever be the same. Often, we aren’t even aware of these defining moments until much later. For me, I think of the day as a 19-year-old, I timidly accepted a job working on a ranch in the state of Wyoming and unbeknownst to me opened myself up to a whole new world. Or the day I reluctantly agreed to go on a blind date with the person who ended up being my future wife, Becky. Nothing in my life would be the same from those points forward.
Right now, many of you are experiencing a defining moment in your life. As a worker being put to the test every day as you are on the front line of battling COVID-19; as a professional having to completely rethink how you’re delivering products and services to clients; or as a parent learning to manage the tension between work and home in a new way as you try to meet your job demands while being a home-school teacher to your kids.
Although social distancing restrictions will loosen up, something inside you knows that your life – that you – will never be the same again.
No one would ever choose to go through the challenges we are currently experiencing, and we all look forward to the days when this crisis will be over. However, there are good things that will happen through this experience that might never happen otherwise. You are revealing, developing, and deepening your true character. As you move forward through this defining moment in your life, there are three questions you should ask yourself, and remind yourself of your answers continually:
1. VALUES QUESTION - When you look back 10 years from now, what 3 values will you want use to describe how you “showed up” as a leader during this time of crisis? Once you’re clear on these 3 values, write them down and keep them somewhere visible so you are reminded every day of the leader you are committed to being.
2. LEADERSHIP QUESTION – Leaders have the ability to help those around them see a better future and inspire them to take steps in that direction. How will you leverage your skills and responsibility of leadership to help others get through this tough time? Who do you have a ‘duty of care’ to talk to, to encourage, to paint a picture of hope? Reach out to them. Keep a reminder in your calendar so you stay focused on and invested in them.
3. COMMUNITY QUESTION – Who are the 3 to 5 people in your life that you need in your corner for perspective, encouragement, and fun. The people who will give you what you need so you give others what they need. Let them know! Create rituals that ensure you’re staying connected with this community despite the challenge of social distancing.
You are living in a defining moment. Right now! You will always look back at this time in your life and clearly see the ways you were changed and how your character grew. It is my hope that although you will never wish to repeat this season, you will also never regret it due to the opportunities it provided.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”
Tim Arnold is passionate about helping people understand the chronic issues that limit leadership and teamwork, so they can thrive. He is the author of the book: The Power of Healthy Tension, and speaks to organizations around the globe on how they can overcome chronic issues and conflicting values. www.leadersforleaders.ca