The last few months have been a hard grind for everyone. For some, the last few months have been brutal. Hard decisions, long hours, personal risk, job loss, financial ruin, loneliness, sickness and even death have been uncommonly common.
In the midst of crisis, there isn’t much time for us as leaders to reflect. Then when we begin to see some space to process, the temptation is to keep our heads down and push through. After all, we are tired, and there’s much more to do.
As this first wave of COVID-19 begins to shift—with the possibility of more waves ahead—let me urge you to find and take some space to intentionally reflect on this crazy time. It’s important for your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health. These factors greatly impact your leadership.
Here are six reflection questions to get you started. You can tackle one question a day or carve out a longer time to reflect on more. Find a quiet space, get out your journal and ask God to guide you.
1. What do you need to grieve? The losses have been significant over the last few months. Many plans, hopes and dreams have been dashed. Special events and life markers have been canceled. There’s been separation, suffering and sickness. Lost jobs and financial strains. Loneliness and hard decisions. Make a list. Share the grief and these losses honestly with God.
2. What can you celebrate? Make a list of blessings you’ve received or seen. Who has stepped up around you? What innovations have worked? Where have there been breakthroughs? How has God provided and protected? Give thanks to God. Write some encouragement notes. Take time with your team to celebrate.
3. What have you learned? Make a list of what you have learned about God, yourself, leadership, your team, your organization and about the world.
4. What do you need to take with you? As we begin to move out of this first wave, what learnings, mindset, habits, patterns or perspectives do you need to take with you from this difficult season? You have a unique opportunity to incorporate these things into your life and leadership going forward.
5. What do you need to leave behind? Moving from one season to another gives you permission to leave some things behind. What mindset, habits or perspective do you need to leave behind?
6. Where will you catch your breath and get some rest? Many leaders have been working long hours; some have been working nonstop. Long-planned vacations that were already a needed oasis of rest and refreshment were canceled. Then there’s been the emotional toll of high-stress situations and hard decisions over weeks and months.
You likely need to make some time and take some steps to restore although you may be tempted to keep your head down and keep pushing through. If you are depleted—and you likely are more depleted than you think—you can’t just keep going like nothing happened. This is especially important when there may be more COVID-19 disruptions coming. It’s important for your mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health to intentionally reflect, so you’re better prepared to lead through the upcoming season. Find a calendar and mark some long weekends and vacation time. Even though these may be staycations, they can make a real and needed difference.
Cheering you on as you seek to Lead Different,
Dr. Steve Brown
President, Arrow Leadership
P.S. Has COVID-19 made your strategic plan obsolete? Are you struggling to find a path forward? We can help! From one-to-one coaching to guiding you through a strategic planning process, the team at Arrow Leadership is here for you. To explore further, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to set-up a complimentary consultation.