Like you, there are so many things I don't like about COVID-19.
Obvious as they may be, let me list a few.
- It hurts people.
- It is crushing the economy.
- It greatly limits what where we can go.
- It has created sustained fear, worry and anxiety.
- It's almost impossible to predict.
In spite of all this ...
We need to smile, laugh when we can, keep our chin up and know that we will get through it even though it's not easy.
In fact, it's difficult.
I lost a dear friend last week who had been in ICU on a ventilator for three weeks. It's heartbreaking.
No matter how difficult the challenge, as leaders we must communicate hope, and that first requires hope within us.
That hope springs from our:
—Faith in Christ.
—Confidence as a leader.
—Personal growth through this season.
One of the most important questions you can ask yourself right now is; Who you are becoming during this time? What kind of leader, mom, dad, spouse, parent or friend is shaping within you?
You are going to get through this pandemic, so determine to come out on the other side a better version of you.
Here's one thing I really don't like: COVID-19 is revealing stuff about me that is less than my best, some things I just don't like.
Sustained pressure does that. It squeezes in and reveals the cracks in your character, your spiritual maturity and leadership. It has in me.
Cracks that you thought you had taken care of.
The good news is that I also like some things I see being revealed in me during this time. I hope you like some things being revealed about you as well.
The gift in this very difficult time is the opportunity to become a better, stronger and wiser person and leader on the other side.
Don't waste your opportunity.
5 Steps to Become a Better Leader Post-COVID-19:
- Now is not the time to hunker down, duck and take cover till it's all over. I get it, this is exhausting. It's wearing us all out. There is so much that is unknown.
We'd all rather be living in a greater sense of normalcy.
But as leaders, we simply cannot shelter up and hope to wait out the storm. If you are leading through a storm, you have to be engaged in it to be effective.
If you are leading anyone, your family, a small group, a campus or the entire church, you must be in deeply touch with the reality of what is happening and aware of what the people are thinking and feeling.
That's how you discover the best solutions to the real problems.
Be fully engaged as a leader; that's where you start.
Tap into your confidence to push forward, in the best interests of those you lead, and in unity with your leadership team.
- Get honest about your fears, anxieties and insecurities. You can't help anyone handle their fears if you aren't honest about yours.
I've encountered a few leaders who say, "I have no fears."
No fears whatsoever?
I'm not referring to debilitating fears that completely overwhelm you and cause you to shut down on the inside. But normal, natural human fear of something than can harm you, the people you love or the people you lead.
We need not be consumed or controlled by those fears, anxieties or insecurities, but we do need to acknowledge them.
If you are captive to fear, you will not be able to make good decisions that will help you and those you lead live a better future.
When you take your concerns to God, get wise counsel and then take action, you have the personal breakthroughs you need in order to understand and connect with the people you lead.
- When pressure begins to rise, pay attention to what starts to leak. As pressure increases, I've seen my patience run thin, my thinking grow small and my perspective become askew.
I don't like any of that, but I'm taking advantage of this crazy season and leaning in to become a stronger person and a better leader.
How about you?
What do you need to pay attention to?
As leaders, we must never stop learning, growing and changing. If we do, our leadership soon becomes less effective and eventually ineffective.
The gift of this season is that many of the challenges we face, from greater uncertainty to rising complexity, are the things that help us grow, mature and become stronger.
You'd probably agree that your most significant seasons of growth resulted from the most difficult times you've experienced.
We all love vacations, days off and enjoyable times. In fact, we need them. That's where we rest, restore and renew. But your most powerful growth come from adversity.
As John Maxwell recently said, "Wisdom is always extracted from adversity."
- Take note of when you are at your best in new circumstances. During this pandemic, how have you shined most brightly?
How have you surprised yourself in positive ways? You maybe didn't think you had it in you, but you did!
We have all been impressed with and grateful for our health care professionals. But you don't have to serve on the front lines or be a hero to rise up to the best version of you.
—The new things you are doing (or old things in new ways) that are working well.
—How you are successfully adapting to change and uncertainty.
—How you have served your family and those you lead in the church very well.
You get the idea.
Don't take any of that for granted. God placed those abilities and character traits within you. That helps you live a values-based life.
When you notice a pattern of your strengths in action, keep leaning into it. That is God at work in you and through you.
When you live out of your values rather than react to pressure, you become a better leader.
- Pray bigger prayers. Prayers of any size or scope are good. In fact, some of the most personal, intimate and focused prayers are among of the best.
But there are times, like right now, when God is calling us to bigger prayers.
I love to pray for my church, and churches of other leaders I know. But right now I have found myself praying for all churches across our country and around the world.
When the need is big, our prayers must become big.
When the need expands, our prayers must keep pace.
God is inviting us to draw close to Him.
The need for our dependence upon His love, grace and mercy has never been clearer.
It is truly a gift to know that God is with us and answers prayer.
Dan Reiland is the executive pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as executive pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as vice president of leadership and church development at INJOY.
For the original article, visit danreiland.com.
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