|Challenging Times Call for Personal Leadership – Guest Commentary by Greg Prestinger, Focal Point Coaching
With the COVID-19 global health crisis now impacting every corner of our personal and professional lives, now is the time for leaders to step up and provide calm and the clear mind required to win this war on humankind.
Leadership is not limited to business owners, government officials and those with titles and power. We all have in us the capacity to lead, to lead from anywhere, and it is our personal responsibility to step up and do just that, every one of us. Stress is what gets in our way to lead under pressure. To effectively lead we must get past the debilitating causes that fuels it. To win the war, we must first defeat the enemy within if we are to lead our teams, customers, suppliers, families and communities in the battle to restore our very way of life.
Winning the battle on stress requires that we know our sources of stress and create a strategy for overcoming them so that we can maintain the calm, objectivity and clear mind needed to face this crisis. The four primary sources of stress include; worry, lack of purpose, fear and denial.
Worry fogs the mind and destroys the body physically. About 96% of the things we worry about are out of our control and we need to let them go, focus single mindedly on what we can control and put a plan in place to overcome our worst-case scenario.
The next cause of stress is not having clarity of purpose, why we are doing the work in the first place. To overcome this, we must develop a vision, a mission and the goals to achieve it. We must then take action, decide what is important, what has the most impact, and do that first.
Fear, specifically fear of failure or rejection, is the brain’s way of protecting us from discomfort. Often the best way to attack fear is by invoking courage, accepting the fear and doing it anyway. We can do this by focusing on the positive and pushing ourselves beyond our comfort zone. It’s in action that our fear subsides.
Denial and anger are not accepting the facts as real or denying responsibility. We must avoid the blame game, the excuses and forgive those who did or didn’t do what needed to be done prior to where we are today. It’s in the past let it go. True leaders have a vision for the future, are willing to take the first step and take personal responsibility for solutions to move us forward.
This virus is real. The suffering of our community, businesses, employees and non-profit organizations are real and we must first acknowledge that people are suffering. We must then step up, all of us, lead from whatever position we hold in life and get to work.
We will win this war as we have so many times before. We will be better for the struggle and we will come out on top stronger than ever. We all have the capacity for personal leadership. It is now up to all of us to do just that.