Over the past few weeks people have been asking me what they can do in this state of unprecedented uncertainty to feel like they are contributing to the solution instead of falling into a downward spiral of fear, learned helplessness and Idiocracy (if you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about).
Regardless of the perch you occupy in society, whether you’re a leader in a large organization, a scientist working on a cure, an Essential Worker at the local grocery store or any average Jane standing in the appropriately socially-distanced line at Starbucks, you can do something to ease the suffering of others while exercising your own leadership muscles.
Moments like this define our character as individuals and as leaders. These situations simply bring out more of who we naturally are. For example, if you are one of those people who is steady and solution-focused versus fear-based and defeatist, those qualities will be amplified right now. Mental Hunger Games situations like this offer us an opportunity to demonstrate our greatness.
So what can you do? Of course we all need to pay attention to mandates from the government and doctors and take the necessary precautions to stay healthy and safe. But beyond that, we have a lot of control over our approach to life right now. Everything that doesn’t perpetuate the dark, contributes to the light.
The majority of people in the world tend to look to be led by others in daily life. However, those of us who can role model calm, empathetic, inspiring, measured behaviors now, as small as that may seem, will set the tone for the rest.
It's the small things that add up to make people feel seen, connected and add value to their lives. Smile at people from a distance, make eye contact when passing others on your morning run, send inspiring memes, connect people on social media, check in with the people in your life via text or phone to see how they are doing. These sound like small things, but in this moment, these are the most important things, and the things we can control while the larger, more sustainable solution is being found. I'd love to hear some of the great ideas you're employing to be a role model for others right now.