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Are Your Leaders Stuck?

Aug 05, 2022

I was recently asked how to get the leadership team to return to productivity, regain momentum and get back on track to achieving goals and objectives.  Great Question!

Are your leaders stuck? 

We've all been through some extraordinary times.  A bit like being lost at sea for two years without knowing if you have the provisions you need to make it through.  Not to mention that this is a ship you are totally unfamiliar with, one you've never captained before.  And you're in among other captains trying to steer their ships and they don't know where they're going either.  What a hot mess!  No wonder people are stuck.

The world is a different place.  You're in a different place.  Your leaders are in a different place.  And it may be helpful to acknowledge that and to better understand where they have been and where they are, as well as where they're going.

By any definition, we have been living through a crisis, or, if you prefer, multiple crises.  There's the pandemic, of course.  There's also a war.  There's an unprecedented level of divisiveness among people. We are dealing with some big economic uncertainties - inflation, layoffs, supply shortages, labor shortages.  And, unlike crises we've survived in the past, this time we have the amplification that comes from social media.  The bad news is everywhere.

And people are tired, they're stressed, they're burned out.  Everyone has been affected, some more than others.  How will we turn the corner on this?

I have found it helpful to review the phases that people typically go through in a crisis and acknowledge where I am in the process of transition -- and so, I offer this to you.

There's Phase One.  In this phase, we know that our world has changed dramatically or is about to change.  Our very human reaction is to protect ourselves, as well as the people and things that are important to us -- our families, our homes, our business or career.  We seek security and safety.  We look for what is known and familiar to us.  Phase One is all about survival.  We are sitting and waiting for more clarity and certainty.

What comes next is Phase Two.  In this phase, we realize that things will never be the same, and we begin to find ways to cope.  We pay more attention to our mental health and overall wellness.  We start to acquire the new skills we need to survive in this new world and we learn how to better manage our own stress levels, as well as the stress of others - our families, our teams, our friends.

When we get to Phase Three, we have a desire to separate ourselves from the crisis in some way.  We want to turn the page and turn the corner.  We want to free ourselves from the recent past and focus on the future.  We want to be productive and proactive again.  We want to challenge ourselves to regain our confidence and momentum, to achieve success, even as we may need to redefine it.  We want to lead and influence others to move forward as well.

The reality today is that many of us are stuck in phase one or phase two.  This is the old world. We are comfortable here because we know what to do.  We are parked there, waiting for things to change.  We are avoiding risks.  We have lowered the anchor on our ship and want to ride out the storm. We are stuck.

In order to move to phase three and beyond - the new world - we have to build it.  We have to create it.  We have to take steps; we have to lead.

The answer to the question is that you and your leaders have to acknowledge where they have been, where they are now, and they have to take some action to move forward.  Even though it's hard.  Even though it takes courage.  Even though you might make some mistakes.  Collectively, we have to bring the conversation back to performance, success, and productivity.  We have to create some new habits.  We have to demand more from ourselves, we have to challenge ourselves to get to the next level, so that we can lead and influence others to follow.

There will never be a better time to develop the mindset and habits of high performance.  And that is something I can help you with.  I can help your leaders, I can help your team. If you want to turn the corner, let's have a conversation.

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