Without a doubt, every person in America is navigating uncharted territories as we are living through a world-wide crisis that will inevitably become a history lesson in years to come. Through this time of uncertainties for so many, we find ourselves searching for guidance and leadership.
Leaders tend to rise and fall during a crisis because of how they handle themselves and lead their people through it. Inspiring leaders spend hours reading, educating, and learning to find all the right skills in order to package them together to become a great leader. I am here to tell you that you don’t have to look any further for”Leadership 101” through a crisis, than Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.
DISCLAIMER: This blog is not a political stand. This blog is not endorsing one side over the other. This blog is about recognizing true leadership at its finest during unprecedented times.
Gov. Beshear is leading Kentuckians through an experience he wasn’t prepared for, and he is doing it with ease and poise.
This is the type of leadership that we should be taking notes on to duplicate, not just during this time of crisis, but in our everyday role as leaders.
- Be Transparent : It’s OK not to have all the answers, and it isn’t expected. Let your people know a little of the obstacles, victories, and real emotions that are happening behind the scenes. This will build trust in your people.
- Be Patient: Carry yourself with confidence and professional poise that demonstrates your patience through a crisis. Communicate with people how you are being patient with your timeline and expectations of them.
- Calm and Direct Tone: Governor Beshear is a natural at this. He stands with authority, but his calm voice is almost soothing. However, his tone is also serious and direct so people want to listen and understand the importance of what he is saying.
- Take Ownership in Your Mistakes: During a time like this, leaders are not expected to know all the right answers, and especially when delivering the messages in front of a live audience.
- Presentation: Be consistent in your presentation. People feel a sense of trust and security in knowing the format and expectation of details to come. This becomes important when delivering new information to your people, while also affirming what others should already know. Having your presentation clear and precise in a format that is consistent assures your message will be retained.
- Place personal agendas on hold your vision and goals should be about the people: Your people want to know your best intentions for them are at the forefront of your decisions. When stating your vision and goals of the plan to be implemented, ensure your message is about them and for them. Your people must “buy” into your vision and goals, so therefore it should reflect them and not your personal agenda.
- State a Clear Vision and Path: Be clear. Be precise. Allow your people to know the intended results. They need to feel it, understand it, and understand how their actions can achieve it. Don’t ramble or throw out information that isn’t relevant. Be confident in your delivery.
- Reassure Your People You are In It Together: Show empathy and understanding for your people by providing them with reassurance of your confidence to achieve together. Allow them to know you walk beside them and relate to them how you will be there along the way.
- Recognize and Show Appreciation for your Team: Be thankful for the team that stands with you that has helped you become a strong leader. There is no great leader without a strong team beside them. When the leader can recognize their team in front of others to show their appreciation, it says a lot about their teamwork mindset. A leader should always show appreciation and love for their team.
- State Clear Actions and Expectations: Be clear in what you want your people to understand and implement. Make sure there is no question of your expectations and how they must implement your action plan in order to be successful. Your people must know exactly what it is you want them to do.
I realize these leadership traits have been published in numerous leadership books and spoken by business coaches across the world. However, their messages are “coaching” us and telling us how to lead. These tips outlined in this blog are not just what I know to be true, it’s what I have seen a great leader do in the midst of a crisis. Each outlined tip above was written based on the delivery of practices of what I observe everyday at 4 p.m. CST with Governor Beshear. Not only is history being made daily through this crisis, but many inspiring leaders are taking notes of Governor Beshear.
I challenge each of my readers to #leadlikeAndy
(Credit for #leadlikeAndy came from my great friend and business owner, Lindsey Lanham, who also is inspired by his leadership.)
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