As I have often stated, the most successful leaders today are those who learn from experience and strive to improve a few degrees everyday. In today’s Coronavirus/ COVID-19 pandemic, many people are finding themselves in challenging times. This means that knowing your purpose and being positive each and every day has never been more important.
Importantly, the best Leaders are not afraid to ‘course correct’, make difficult decisions or establish standards of performance that will be constantly be met as well as improved all the time. The best leaders also have a positive outlook as well as confidence.
With this Pandemic impacting at the time of writing this article, 1.46 million cases worldwide, 86,000+ deaths and the US just topping 400,000 – it’s critical that your company and leadership team hears, feels and sees your focus, commitment, desire, passion and purpose during these uncertain times.
In these extraordinary times, every employee, shareholder, customer, client or stakeholder is anxious, looking to minimize losses and searching for the most strategic, thoughtful way forward. That’s why leaders must chart a clear course forward in these uncertain times.
The Seven Elements of Collaboration
- Build Trust, Respect and be Accountable: During times of ambiguity, communication is key. Stay available and present. Share often. Be open to the ideas and concerns that others are experiencing. Always lead from a position of strength and respectability.
- Hold a Shared Compelling Purpose: Take time to connect with your team and remind one another why you are all in this together. I believe, it’s also critical to make the time to get to know your team and encourage camaraderie and trust.
Define what matters most as you navigate these turbulent times. This means you must calm your mind and heart and reconnect to the big ideal that you are working on.
Turn off the news (especially #FakeNews) , stop checking your phone, and quickly disengage from social media! Turn off all the negativity and focus on being positive, relaxed, happy and keeping a strong and growth mindset!
PURPOSE IS CRITICAL TO BUSINESS NOW MORE THAN EVER BEFORE
Those companies or organizations that can clearly articulate their causes or beliefs have a significant advantage over those companies that don’t.
This is especially true with the ‘freshly minted’ graduates and employees. A company that inspires staff, helps people or groups is way more important to folks today than just making more money and working harder than in past generations. Today’s highest performing companies such as: Patagonia, Unilever and others are also building and encouraging more fulfillment and lasting happiness on the job.
And, you don’t have to be a ‘rocket scientist’ to understand what that does to momentum, loyalty, trust, influence and productivity. Importantly, if your constituents know exactly what you stand for and agree with your values – you become a trusted partner as well as leader.
From my experience, today’s best companies win back hearts, minds and wallets of the most fickle clients and customers by:
- Defining Goals
- Pinpointing the right audience
- Assigning roles
- Incorporating the suite of best capabilities
- Connecting consistently and often
- Adding more value
- Trying to make a difference in the world
- Believe in purpose BEFORE profit (the profit will follow)
- Purpose recruits the most passionate people
- Increase Competence in Four Areas – Physical, Intellectual, Emotional & Spiritual:
- Pay special attention to the physical health of the people around you. Encourage rest and good hygiene, and focus on stress reduction. This has never been more important.
- From an intellectual standpoint, seek data and validate the information you receive.
- As for emotions, it’s completely normal to experience fear and sadness in these circumstances; make room for them. You might also need to make room for a little bit of laughter and levity, too.
- Spiritually, make a point to connect to the place that brings you peace — nature, religion, spirit, animals (perhaps a dog day!) — whatever that is for you!
- Build Strength from Experience: Mistakes will be made as we are asked to work in new ways. Catch the mistakes, suspend judgment and blame, and put corrections in place. The game here is to experiment and fail fast, learn so that you can get to the breakthroughs.
- Engage the Power of Appreciation:Gratitude is a powerful thing, both to give and to receive. Reach out to those working remotely, or stop by a cubicle, or wander to a different floor. Appreciation has been proven to improve workplace health, reduce stress, increase engagement and motivate employees. Look for the gold and then call it out.
Adversity doesn’t build character; it reveals it. These are extraordinary times, but if you’re up to the challenge you can a true leader.
- Be proactive with feedback: take the time to get to know your team and encourage camaraderie.
- Acknowledge & Reward: With proactive feedback comes acknowledgement and reward. People love recognition, but are most appreciative of respect. Importantly, being genuine in your recognition and respect goes a long way towards building team loyalty and trust. It organically ignites extra effort and results too!
Finally, one life lesson I learned early in my working career while I was in Australia and working for the highly acclaimed creative advertising agency MOJO/MDA was – Always celebrate success! We always celebrated after every account or brand win, no matter how big or small. In fact, I remember a two year stretch in the mid 1990’s, where our agency was celebrating almost 52 weeks for a couple of years in a row and we were awarded as the International Ad Agency of the Year in that period.
BUT, at a time when uncertainty like this COVID-19 pandemic is being dealt with each day, you must still take the time to celebrate success. This goes beyond acknowledgment – this is about taking a step-back and reflecting on what you have accomplished and what you have learned throughout the journey.
In today’s fast-paced, rapidly changing world of work, people are not taking enough time to understand why they were successful and how their success reverberated and positively impacted those around them. I have seen leaders fall into the trap of self-aggrandizement – because of what their teams accomplished – rather than celebrating the success stories that in many cases required tremendous effort, sacrifice and perseverance.
Celebration is a short-lived activity. Don’t ignore it – even in times of recession or even this pandemic. Take the time to live in the moment and remember what allowed you to cross the finish line!
Leaders are only as successful as their teams and the great ones know that with the right team dynamics, decisions and diverse personalities, everyone wins in the end.
Remember if you want to excel at work and have more purpose in your life, it all starts with making deeper and better connections, defining your purpose and living it. Success only comes from the consistent increase in the quality of your ‘holistic life’.
Strive each day to have a great week, not just a great Friday once a week. Expect to excel consistently, constantly and daily.
Make sure you live with passion, compassion, purpose, courage, by shaping yourself daily and not letting the environment around you shape you. Make a commitment to higher standards by constantly expanding and following your heart.
Bottom-line, if you want to excel in your life, you ARE the only one who can control your mind, your thoughts, decisions, attitude, questions, direction, beliefs. YOU know what brings you PLEASURE or PAIN and only you can determine your purpose. Remember, ONLY you can determine YOUR DESTINY, YOUR DREAMS, and EVOLVE into your destiny.
Finally, I hope I have inspired you a little and helped to lift and raise your standards and become even more extraordinary. God bless you and to your continued success in 2020.
More about Geoff De Weaver:
Geoff De Weaver is a super strategist who directs B2B & Fortune 500 clients to define their vision, create a strategy, and harness their internal innovation to grow their business or reinvent their products.
Expert at building and transforming brands, businesses, and digital and physical customer experiences at scale.
History of success developing and executing cross-channel global marketing campaigns to drive brand positioning, equity, and awareness while increasing engagement and sales and loyalty.
Innovative entrepreneur, author, speaker, and advertising executive with vast expertise driving business growth, reinventing brands, and implementing global marketing campaigns.
Connect with me at:
Twitter at: https://twitter.com/geoff_deweaver
Amazon Authors: https://www.amazon.com/Geoff-De-Weaver/e/B007DAEKFG
#Advertising #Digital #Leadership #Author #Speaker #Influencer #GlobalBrandManagement #Success #Results #Winning #Pitching #Data #DigitalMarketing #DirectMarketing #CRM #AskGeoff #SocialSelling #B2B #Mobile #Growth #LeadGeneration #Trust #Loyalty #Fortune500 #DigitalPioneer #Book #LinkedIn #Data #AskGeoff #SiliconValley #Marketing #Entrepreneur #ROI #IoT #Cloud #CRM #CEO #MarTech #HighReturn #LowHangingFruit #strategicmarketing #integratedmarketing #productlaunches #globalmarketing #linkedinadvertising #Influencer #Entrepreneur #BusinessDevelopment #ClientManagement #Leadership #FinancialManagement #ChangeAgent #StrategicThinker