Recently the majority of the executive team at Christ Fellowship Miami got COVID during the same week. We thought it was gonna put a lot of stress on the organization. Surprisingly it didn’t. Below are some lessons we learned through the experience. Hope they help you navigate if / when your leadership gets hit.
- Be Honest - Don’t try to hide things. Your leadership is pretty visual and prominent. People will notice when they aren’t present at meetings and events. So don’t try to hide things. Be honest with your staff about the situation. They are gonna find out one way or another. It's best they find out from you.
- No Special Treatment - Whatever your protocols have been for the rest of the staff over the past year, they need to be the same for your leadership as well. Giving your leadership special treatment during a pandemic is a quick way to foster a toxic work environment.
- Don’t Change Your Policy - Everyone reacts stronger to a situation when it happens to them personally. That’s human nature. So it is natural to reexamine your COVID policies after you have gotten it. I strongly encourage against making any major changes because it can appear to be self-serving. That being said, if you do unearth a new best practice after you have gone through this situation, wait a couple of weeks before you implement it.
- Keep It Positive - You are a leader. People are following you. One of the main things your staff needs from you is a positive attitude. Whatever confidence, or lack thereof, is at the top of the organization will trickle all the way down to the bottom. So if you have any personal predilections towards pessimism, put that in check for the sake of those you lead.
- It Will Test Your Leadership Development - Most organizations have a leadership pipeline or apprenticeship program. Ours is called LVLUP and can be found here. Being sidelined because of COVID put our leadership development to the test. It passed with flying colors. If you are not currently developing the next generation of leaders, do it now. Put them and the organization in a position to succeed when you step out.
Many other leaders and organizations have been hindered by COVID over the last year. I would love to know what you learned through the experience. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. Have an awesome day.