On Sunday, I had the privilege of listening to John Maxwell’s address on Leadership. I’ve listed the link to the web site below and my 5 main takeaways!! A time of crisis calls for EFFECTIVE and STRONG Leadership in our communities, our businesses, and our families. Our citizens, our team members, and our children are watching and learning from our response!
1- CRISIS IS QUITE COMMON
By definition (dictionary + Greek + medical) a crisis is an intense time of difficulty, requiring a decision that will be a turning point. At all periods in history, there have been times of crisis and it always seems like the one we are going through is the TOUGHEST! (Think about a surgery- a MINOR surgery is one that is happening to someone else ?- a MAJOR surgery is one that is happening to you!) John Maxwell was not minimizing the crisis we are walking through now, it is very serious. But he was shining a light on the fact that this is not the first crisis the world has been through and it will not be the last. He referenced King Solomon’s comment: This too shall pass- take heart.
2- A CRISIS IS DISTRACTING
A crisis takes our mind off of our objectives- it distracts us from the path we are on. The opposite of distraction is traction- which pulls us forward rather than pulling us away from our goals and objectives. Leaders help people by eliminating the fastest way to distraction which is negative emotions. We are called to bring Hope, security & hope during times of crisis which helps to reduce the distraction. Currently, it feels like the FEAR is spreading faster than the virus and as leaders, we can minister to the needs of our teams and our families by calming the fear. Nothing will cause more anxiety than trying to control the things we cannot control. He suggested that we repeat the saying: FEAR WILL NOT DOMINATE ME! (I like it!!)
3- A CRISIS REVEALS WHAT IS INSIDE
I really LOVED John’s visual picture of squeezing an orange- what comes out? Orange Juice. In times of crisis, people are also ‘squeezed’ and what comes out is what is on the inside! Choices make us and a crisis reveals us. Each one of us is a leader in one way or the other- we all influence those around us. In times of duress and uncertainty, we have an opportunity to put the things we have learned into action. We have the opportunity to lean into our strengths and focus on the blessings we have regardless of the circumstances. Loss & Scars help to ground and mature us- it may SUCK- but let the crisis reveal the best parts of you so you can help lead those around you!
4- CRISIS REQUIRES ADAPTABILITY
The sports analogy that John used for this is one of my favorites! All good coaches go into a game with a certain game plan but somewhere after that first whistle blows- game plans can and DO change! Great coaches take whatever information they have and at halftime- they ADAPT and help the teamwork through whatever they found at the beginning of the game! He also discussed the difference between conformity and adaptability. Conforming is blending in- going along to get along. Adaptability to doing what needs to be done to get where you need to go. In times of crisis, strong leaders adapt and find ways to deal with the facts.
5- A CRISIS IS WHERE REAL LEADERS SHOW UP
It is easier to lead when everything is going well- it is another thing entirely to lead in a time of crisis. Uncertainty is natural in times of crisis and while leaders do not have all of the answers- they definitely SHOW UP in a big way during a crisis. Leaders who bring clarity to a crisis help their team prioritize. Leaders who bring HOPE let their teams know that together, they can make things better. REAL leadership is not about knowing everything, it is about using what you know to lift and support others through a crisis. It is about putting others first, identifying the reality of the situation and turning adversity into opportunity.
John Maxwell is using his lifelong leadership journey to help us walk through the crisis being confronted all across the world! Please consider taking in his next few sessions and THANK YOU for your Leadership!