'We're in some tough, crazy, unprecedented times right now.'
But isn't that what leadership is all about anyway? Read on....
In a recent post, I used the quote: "It's a Poor Craftsman that Blames his Tools" and that was the inspiration for this whole blog and vlog. Let's talk about what that means. If for example, you are a Chef and your dish comes out wrong, you blame the pan you cooked it in. Or a Painter whose painting didn't come out the way they wanted, blames the blush they used. You see where this is going?.
Right now it's easy to play the blame game but is that going to get you more business? Will it help you survive thru this crisis and thrive later? The answer is, quite frankly, no.
Maybe you made some decisions that aren't so great, but they were your decisions and you made them. That's okay. It's actually more than okay if you realize your mistake, OWN your decision, learn from that mistake and move forward with that knowledge and, if you truly learned, don't repeat the same mistake again. Taking ownership of the wins AND the losses is a strong business owner and leader. That is the road to success, truly.
Whether you are the leader of a team of two, a huge company or your family, you need to make decisions quickly, courageously and with fortitude. Right now, things are very fluid and changing every day so your decision may have been perfect for last month but this month it's completely obsolete.
The best thing you can do? The minute, the second, that you realize you need to change course, do it. Pivot, move forward, announce the change. DO something to change course because you know it's wrong. Remember, it's not the tools, it's you, the Craftsman. You made those decisions and you have to live by them BUT you can take ownership and move the needle. No one to blame here but you so take action.
Leaders are Leaders because people look up to them, follow them and believe that the course you are taking them on will lead them down the right path, the path to success. As a Team Leader for your company, business, family - what are YOU doing to inspire motivation, alleviate fear and promote well-being with your group during this crisis?
Without a seemingly solid direction, people tend to feel uneasy which then creates toxic stress. Next thing you know, your whole company is fractured, misguided and unmotivated.
1. Give deadlines for projects. This helps reduce stress because it gives your team a sense of control. It's a bit like sailing. Give the most scared person the wheel and suddenly they aren't that scared because they feel like they're in control. See? Same thing.
2. Ask people to ask you questions about what's happening. I am a HUGE fan of asking questions and working with people who ask questions. I ask A LOT of questions because I want to know HOW you get to point B. I KNOW I am starting at Point A and we need to get to Point B, but how do all of the tasks to get there relate? Which ones are the most important, what if one falls short - what does that do to the whole project and why? This way I have a clear picture of what needs to happen and if something does go wrong, I am already in motion for considering substitutions. Asking questions is a sign of intelligence and confidence - take note of who wants to learn more.
More than 3/4 of businesses are not operating in a 'normal' capacity and making the decisions as we speak of their next big business move. It's the Leaders who lean into the wind and make contrarian decisions now to, as we say here at KardZee, survive now to thrive later.
3. Survival. Let's talk about it. It's great if you can also post a profit during this crisis, but really, it's about keeping your company intact and afloat. Your goal should be survival for your employees, customers, suppliers because the demise of even a small company has a MASSIVE ripple effect. You are the life ring here.
4. Help your team feel valued and less stressed about job security, create a plan of 'going back to work' so they have a date in sight. People just want to know you have some sort of plan in mind - whatever that looks like. So share the plan even though you may have to adjust it as things move along.
5. Nothing is as it seems. And finally, these wise words were spoken to me by a fabulous Boss I had when I was just 24 years old. He said, "Read between the lines Keverne, nothing is as it seems." At the time, I was like, huh??? but I have carried that thru my whole life and it has served me well. By doing this, you are sure to have the wind at your back. You'll see.
Remember to check out our YouTube Channel for over 100 videos to help you learn more and try new things. www.youtube.com/c/kardzee
Keverne Denahan, CEO, KardZee
(and First Mate aboard a sailing vessel)