Unprecedented. Upside down. Turmoil.
Those are just a few of the more popular words used to describe the profound change we’ve all experienced. But as much as they capture, they leave out.
They leave out the reality for health care leaders who ask their teams to stand beside them, putting their lives at risk while they work with inadequate resources and decide who will die and who has a chance to live.
They can’t describe the feelings of our friends who have lost people to this disease.
Those words don’t address the sadness of leaders who have had to furlough or lay off their teams — or who have lost their own job. (And please don’t use the word “inessential” to describe these folks whose work we very much need.)
Nor do they describe the overwhelm of leaders who have to figure how to manage suddenly invisible teams, bolster morale, and give everyone the support they need — all while juggling spouses and kids who need the WiFi.
So yes, unprecedented and upside down, but so much more.
The Business at Hand
Two years ago, I wrote about the business every leader undertakes when they agree to lead. I’ve been thinking about those words quite a bit over the past few weeks. Here is an excerpt:
If I could give a one-page orientation manual to every person who takes a management or leadership position, it would say:
You may have taken this job for the money (it’s not going to be enough),
for the power (you don’t actually have power — it’s an illusion),
or for the prestige (no job will make you feel good about yourself).
Maybe you took this job because you care about the people you serve and results you can achieve together. If so, you’re off to a great start.
When your team has hope, you have a chance.
Welcome to leadership — welcome to the hope business.
Leadership is the belief that if we work together, we can have a better tomorrow.
That’s hope. But if you’re like most leaders, no one’s ever told you that you’re in the hope business.
But every day, you ask your team to try, to think, to solve problems. Why? Why should they try?
The only answer is hope.
Because when we work together, we can make things better — better for our customer, better for one another, better for our families.
Welcome Back to the Hope Business
Hope is more important than ever. But hope doesn’t mean you have all the answers.
Hope is having the audacity to take the next step, to do the next thing.
Hope is getting scrappy and fighting for your employees and your customers because you know there’s a tomorrow, even if you can’t quite see it yet.
And sometimes hope is listening to their fears or tears. And sitting with them, believing with them, until they can take their next step and do the next thing.
Welcome back to the hope business.
What is your next step?
You’ve got this.
You might want to read:
Author and international keynote speaker David Dye gives leaders the roadmap they need to transform results without losing their soul (or mind) in the process. He gets it because he’s been there: a former executive and elected official, David has over two decades of experience leading teams and building organizations. He is President of Let’s Grow Leaders and the award-winning author of the author of several books: Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates (Harper Collins Summer 2020), Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul, Overcoming an Imperfect Boss, and Glowstone Peak. — a book for readers of all ages about courage, influence, and hope.