“But Daddy, I’m scared” my daughter said as I held the back of her bicycle seat about to push off without training wheels for the first time. To which I responded, “It’s ok to be scared, but what does it mean to be scared and act any way?” “To be brave.” “…and who’s my brave little girl?” “I am…” and off she went. After months of riding her balance bike around the driveway, her balance was solid and she astonishly rode around the playground on the first try…that being said, it didn’t prevent her a few weeks later from crashing into one of her friends and breaking his leg in two places, but that’s another story for another time.
Right now, it’s ok to be scared. I know I am. But as leaders, more importantly, now is the time to act, now is the time to lead.
It’s easy to lead when everything is great, when it’s all up and to the right, but real leadership happens in real uncertainty.
Now is the time all the challenges in our rear view mirror show us their true purpose in shaping us as leaders.
Now is the time when our scar’s stories give us the confidence to persevere in the face of unease, uncertainty, and unrest.
This is our time.
This is our time to keep our cool.
This is our time to continually communicate with our people.
This is our time to proactively do the hard, important things.
This is our time to lead.
You have the experience, wisdom, and abilities to lead your people through this: your families, your friends, your employees, your partners. You have what it takes to stay calm and centered when those around you are under the spell of chaos and confusion.
There is so much uncertainty right now, but this we can all be certain of, the world will look and operate differently on the other side of this. Those who lead their organizations through these turbulent times with one eye on how the rules of the game are changing will be able to add superior value on the new playing field, creating an extraordinary competitive advantage.
Now is the time to break completely free from the grip of the “how we’ve always done it” inertia, looking with fresh eyes on what you are trying to accomplish as a company and reprioritize where time and effort is spent.
Just like when taking off on your bike for the first time, leading through this will feel awkward, it will feel scary, but when we lead with compassion and purpose, we will come out of this battered and bruised but not busted…bloodied but not broken.
Be scared and act anyway.
Be the brave leader the world needs right now.
This is our time to lead.