Leading with your heart intentionally.

I have a unique vantage point to the impact of this global pandemic. As a coach, I have had the privilege to support a number of clients as they maneuver through these unchartered waters.

From the manufacturing company who has an emerging growth opportunity from the epidemic and is struggling to keep up with demand, to the hospitality client who furloughed the majority of their corporate staff, to the local small business that had to close their doors after 25 years, to the national nonprofit who turned on a dime to focus all their own resources to helping other nonprofits simply try to survive.

While these organizations are all distinctive sizes, industries, communities and all impacted very differently by this unexpected crisis, there is one thing they have in common.

The most empathetic, heart-centered and ultimately effective leadership is being demonstrated most often among their front-line leaders.

Leadership Qualities

Those managers and directors who are out in front – interacting daily with the employees executing the work and supporting the customer - are the ones showing the care, compassion & connection that is so critical right now. 

According to a new report from NordVPN, the average workday in the US has increased by almost 40% since mid-March...that’s an extra 3 hours per day! Shelter-in-place orders have forced work from home and people are starting their days earlier and ending at the same time or even later. The boundaries between home life and work life are blurred and to make matters worse, the challenges associated with minimizing environmental distractions, zoom fatigue, and homeschooling guilt has the average employee experiencing a 10-20% reduction in productivity on any given day.

So how are people you lead feeling? 

Job satisfaction is decreasing, stress levels are increasing, and work environments are emotionally charged. Not surprising given all that we are taking in and experiencing 24/7 around this global pandemic.

 So who “gets” it?

Higher up in the organization, the tendency seems to be to lead with a heavy hand – directive approach, quick reaction, the crossing of boundaries, lack of empathy – and worse yet, not leading at all and missing opportunities to communicate hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Where I see leaders with fundamental awareness and authentic appreciation for the emotional and physical toll that social distancing and shelter-at-home is taking, is where I see the greatest stories of connected and intentional leadership.

Resilient Leadership

It is the customer service manager, the digital director, the senior account manager who are interacting daily with front-line employees in the work that is most in tune and taking the approach most necessary - people 1st, company 2nd, self 3rd.

  • Like the leader who holds weekly town hall meetings dubbed “zooming in” where she gives timely and relevant biz updates and encourages Q&A among her global team over zoom video conference
  • Like the leader who schedules 15-minute coffee breaks throughout the week so her team has a reason to get untethered from their desk to join a light-hearted, nonbusiness call from their patio, on a walk with their dog, from their kitchen with a cup of coffee
  • Like the leader who hosts “office hours” the same day/time each week to ensure she is accessible for anyone needing extra “face” time with their boss
  • Like the leader who sets up a group text with his 22 furloughed team members so he could send inspirational messages and quick company updates every other day
  • Like the leader who sends e-cards for birthdays and service anniversaries in order to recognize these milestones even though they are not physically in the office

These are some great examples of intentional leadership

So what else can be done to improve leadership qualities?

There is one more important thing you can be doing to engage employees and help them with a sustainable performance mindset through this difficult timeAsk one important question...

Being a cheerleader, encouraging fun, and spreading positivity is nice, but can be short-lived. In answering the question of unexpected blessings, we are moved to a mindset of gratitude which is much more sustaining and can appropriately help your people focused forward toward better days.

Through my work, I have curated some intentional practices of what’s working well for leaders in leading their teams remotely through this uncertain time ==>

The 3 C's of Leadership: Confidence, Communication, Community

Think about how you are putting these strategies into practice with your teams. And for more details & examples around these strategies or help with additional ideas on to how to best support your teams, reach out to me directly. I would love to help.

Virtual HIGH FIVE to those front-line leaders who are committed to intentionally engaging the hearts and minds of their people, especially right now when it is needed most 💜

The last few months have been a true awakening and forced us to recognize what is most important in our lives. 

Similar to the personal health crisis I faced a few short years ago, for all of us, this global health crisis is bringing our priorities into focus - health, family, relationships, time, happiness; and creating an inventory of what we need to be strong and prepared to continue to push through.

This defining moment in history and in our lives has made us more aware of what changes are needed.   

  • For those always in control of everything - they have been forced to let go and narrow their focus to those few things they can control. Liberating and freeing in so many ways.
  • For those addicted to the adrenaline rush associated with being on the hamster wheel of life – they have been forced to slow down and allow their thoughts to surface. No longer able to quiet their mind by being on the go.
  • For those who took relationships for granted, only concerned with their own agenda, getting what they needed, and moving on – they have been forced to work harder to access relationships. Intentional in building deeper connections to advance the ball forward.
  • For those who have been blindly walking through life, taking the expected path but not quite feeling happy or fulfilled – they have been forced to face their fear and challenge their comfort zone. Inspired to take a step toward change and more joyful life.

Let’s face it…many of us have spent a good part of our lives waiting for the inspiration to do something different, to make a bold change. This world crisis is a defining moment and it is accelerating the shift. 

Do you want more meaning and inspiration in your life and career?

Now is the best time to take yourself out of what you do, the job you are in, the path you are on, the success you are tied to, and focus on the things that inspire you and that give you energy. It is up to you to create your own inspiration.

This doesn’t mean that you have to walk into the boss’ office tomorrow and quit, abandon your current business or make a complete career transition.

If you want to make a change but don’t know where to start, don’t know what you really want, or are fearful of leaving old measures of success behind, there are a few things you can do to take control and take the first steps:

  1. Find Capacity – Give yourself the space to let in new thinking. Think about the areas of your life that are draining your mental real estate. What worries zap your energy? If you cleared then out, would it create the room you need to make a change? What is the one thing that needs to be considered or resolved for you to progress?
  2. Define Who You Want To Be – Get in tune with who you are when you are happiest and most fulfilled. Think about a time when you were operating at your best. What strengths and characteristics did you leverage effortlessly?
  3. Act – Take small steps toward your goals. What do you need to do as part of the preparation for making changes? List these things and start acting on them.

You have options and there is no better time to define your success on your own terms, achieve it by your own rules, and build a life you're PROUD AND INSPIRED to live...

If you are feeling ready to face your fears and take the first brave step forward toward a more meaningful and fulfilling life and career, please join my next zoom webinar on June 9: Redefining Success: The First Steps Toward Change.  I will share more detail on how you can take back control and introduce you to the 8 Steps in creating a one-of-a-kind Heart-centered Women's Blueprint to re-engineer all aspects of your life and increase confidence and satisfaction in your career & your next great chapter overall.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Engaged and inspired by smart business leaders who manage it all, personally and professionally, Tricia plays the role of coach, accountability partner, advisor, and consultant. Drawing on experiences, skills, and HEART, Tricia helps others elevate their leadership and develop new possibilities in how they show up and how they engage every day.

Tricia Manning © 2024 All Rights Reserved.
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