The challenge isn’t predicting the next normal. It’s creating it.
I heard the term “next normal” when a friend texted me from a Board retreat. I believe McKinsey used “next normal” first.
Leaders always create the next normal. Things change when new replaces old. Something goes away and the “next normal” cools and hardens. That was true before coronavirus!
Tomorrow reflects who we are today.
The way you show up today predicts the world you experience tomorrow.
How leaders show up now reflects the future of organizations.
Organizations never rise above the way their managers genuinely show up.
The way you show up comes out in what your team becomes.
#1. Fearful leaders end up with cautious teams. We smell fear and it’s contagious. If you have influence your fear contaminates others.
#2. Forward-facing leaders produce optimism. (During COVID-19 it’s cautious optimism, but it’s still optimism. “We’re going to come out better on the other side of this.”)
#3. Backward-facing leaders invite foot-dragging. You can’t build the next normal while pining for the old normal. (Nostalgizing is useful, but destructive in large doses.)
#4. Confident leaders – the belief that you will prevail – build can-do organizations. I’m not suggesting over-confidence. An over-confident leader produces doubt in the team.
- Recall past success. How have you succeeded during past turbulence?
- Face brutal realities. Confidence is façade when based on illusion.
- Call everyone to bring their strength to today’s challenge.
#5. Compassionate leaders create loyal teams. Acknowledge difficulties and press into the future at the same time. Ignoring difficulties disconnects you from your team.
Solidarity is the bond of loyalty.
Stress produces GAS (General Adaptation Syndrome). The three stages of GAS:
You’ve hit exhaustion. How might you refill your team’s tank today?
The future is us.
How would you like leaders to show up during COVID-19?
What future are you creating based on the way you’re showing up today?