We are facing unprecedented times and dealing with a lot of unexpected change. However, every one of us has experienced unexpected change before. We have been forced to deal with the death of a loved one, a divorce, a legal battle, a bankruptcy, an addiction or any other challenge and we have survived. We didn’t see some of these things coming, yet we found a way to not only get through it, but we emerged more experienced, humbler and appreciative.
There can always be a positive that comes out of every negative circumstance. The outcome isn’t always justified by the means, but it is powerful to remember that once the dust settles in any tough situation, we won’t go back to the way things were, but we will be better and stronger!
To overcome adversity and to ensure we can handle it in the future, we must simplify our actions and focus on the fundamentals. As a former coach, I can tell you that the majority of the games my teams lost were due to poor fundamentals. We failed to make the routine throw or field the routine groundball and lost the game. Take NFL Football, for example, in every game, both teams are comprised of exceptionally talented athletes and they show up prepared and schemed perfectly to attack the opponent. However, the winner is typically determined by whoever lines up correctly, tackles and blocks the best. This is no different for our own businesses and personal lives. If we fail to follow leadership fundamentals, we increase the chances that we will suffer in our business or personal lives when the going gets tough.
It is possible to win without sound fundamentals. In fact, my teams won a lot of games simply because we were bigger, stronger and more talented than the opponent. However, when talent was equal or when we were in a crisis, our lack of fundamentals was exposed, and we would lose. During our current crisis, I believe poor fundamentals from companies and families will be exposed. If we want to ensure that we have the foundation set to lead this current challenge and any unexpected challenge to come, we must focus on these four fundamentals.
1. Lead with Quiet Confidence: Leaders set the tone. If the leader is chaotic, then the team will be chaotic, whereas if the leader can stay calm and collected, then our team will follow suit. Remember, we have all been in an unexpected situation before and we have all survived those situations. So, lead this way! People need a leader who is confident and humble. Be the rock for them and your team will step up.
2. Take ownership: People want a leader who is willing to admit mistakes, ask questions and seek a solution. This type of leadership eliminates excuses and encourages members of our team to lean in. We know that someone has our back, and this gives us the courage to try something new.
3. Communicate with Clarity: Do you really know what productivity looks like? Most assume that everyone knows what it means to be productive. This assumption can result in a lot of task completion but very little productivity. Leaders must be precise and ensure that everyone clearly knows the goal and what steps are essential. This creates momentum and urgency, which eliminates wasted steps.
4. Value people: I have yet to find someone tell me that they don’t value people, but how many of us actually show it? Very often, we judge ourselves based upon our intentions, meanwhile, we judge others based upon their actions. What are you currently doing to show your team that you value them? You might say that you are sorry, but how do show it? It is easy to value people when you are winning, but can you do the same thing when you’re are losing? When people know that they are valued, they will go above and beyond what anyone thought was possible.
I want to remind us all that although we cannot choose our family, where we grew up, if a virus changes the way we do business or even many of the events that take place in our lives, we can choose our daily actions, how we respond, who we want to be and how we want to lead. As leaders, we get to write our own story. If we focus on leading with quiet confidence, taking ownership, communicating with clarity and valuing people, we will leave behind a story worth telling!
Be a Champion Today!
Brandon Buck is CEO/owner of Infinite Strengths, a Boise-based coaching firm.