Your defining moment to lead


What did you do during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020?

Depending on our age and where we live on the planet, we often have several challenging moments that stand as defining our generation. Take, for example, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the space shuttle Challenger disaster, or the crumbling of the World Trade Center.

The way they are discussed is typically, “Where were you when….?”

Many people can recall the exact moment they witnessed what was happening (all of the above moments were televised) or when they were first told of the event. These were moments that shocked us, scared us, and redefined how we saw the world around us.

But there is a key difference in what happened in those moments and what is happening with this present crisis.

I remember sitting in front of my television the morning of September 11, 2001, watching in horror as the first of the towers in New York collapsed in an enormous cloud of grey dust. In looking back now, I can recognize what was at the core of my feelings of anxiety and anger - helplessness. There was nothing I could do.

This moment is different.

We are not helpless.

Every single one of us has an opportunity to not only make a difference but to lead. We all have the chance to demonstrate leadership in our industries, communities (geographic and online), and homes.

It has been wonderful to see so many examples of exemplary leadership:

  • First responders and healthcare workers putting themselves in harm’s way for the health and safety of the rest of us
  • Front line workers providing essential services like food, medicine, cleaning, and delivery
  • Officials calmly keeping us informed in the most difficult of circumstances
  • Companies and entrepreneurs stepping up by offering free at-home learning resources
  • Parents sharing amazing stories of how they are taking this time to better connect with their kids
  • People creating online platforms for the healthy sharing of fear and joy
  • Facebook groups with thousands offering their assistance to anyone housebound

Of course, it is also easy to point out the many failed examples of leadership, both large and small, from leaders of entire countries through to self-centered spring breakers. History will not look kindly on them, and there have been far more positive examples that deserve our attention.

How you choose to show up as a leader during the months ahead is up to you. Your approach will come from your skills, experience, circumstance, and resources. There is no formula. But a good place to start is not from the desire to lead, but the desire to serve. A servant-leader is focused, first and foremost, on the well-being of the people in the communities to which they belong.

When this crisis ends (and it will end), how are you going to answer the question of what you DID during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020?

Chaz Thorne - Partner/Producer
Soul Tribe

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