Perspective is everything when you are experiencing the challenges of life. — Joni Eareckson Tada
Winston Churchill planned his funeral before he died. His wishes called for a bugler, positioned high in the dome of St. Paul’s Cathedral to play taps after the benediction. The taps were meant to represent that his physical life was over. But then came the most dramatic turn: as soon as the taps were finished, another bugler, placed on the other side of the great dome, played notes of reveille — it’s time to get up. It’s time to get up. It’s time to get up in the morning.
That Churchill would choose both taps and reveille to be played at his funeral is a reminder to us about the importance of our perspective. So often we tend to dwell on only the negative. Perhaps Churchill chose reveille to remind those who mourned that it was now their time to step up.
We’ve all been learning how to make adjustments during this pandemic. The old ways of doing things seem like a faded memory. Pivot seems to be the new buzzword as businesses acclimate to teleconferencing, Zoom meetings, and social distancing.
As a leader during this time, it’s important that you take time to reflect on what all of these changes mean to you and how you navigate going forward. Here are a few perspectives to con-sider going forward.
What lessons from the past apply to the present?
You’ve heard the old adage, “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” And there’s an element of truth to that, I suppose. But more importantly, when the pandemic is over, what foundational principles of leadership will help you navigate your new paths? What truths and principles of leadership will always be true and stand the test of time and pandemic? These are the ones you will stand on.
What practices of the past will be obsolete?
You’ve heard the expression “new normal” and that is what we are living in. While bedrock leadership principles will stand the test of time, not all practices will. In a new normal will come new ways of doing things. Your perspective as a leader will be measured by how you differenti-ate between the two. The path forward today may look nothing like it did six months ago. As a leader, you have to put it in perspective for your people.
Will your vision be recast or rebuilt?
As a leader, you must assess what your vision going forward looks like. For many, it will mean picking up where you left off by putting your hand to the plow and grinding it out. For others, it will need to be recast based upon new circumstances. Either way, it won’t look the same. You may be one of the many who’ve had to lay off employees or closed entirely and so now your journey begins anew. Be it recast or rebuilt, your perspective as a leader determines what the fu-ture is going to look like.
Will you lead with confidence or with fear?
In the end, your perspective as a leader matters like never before. It gives you clarity of mind in the midst of turmoil and gives your people a sense of much-needed hope and confidence. How you communicate as a leader is in part based upon your perspective. It’s during this time you need to engage in purposeful reflection and sound judgment.
Your perspective as a leader will be challenged in ways like never before. Take time to reflect, pray, rest, and engage. Be careful to stay grounded and connected to the realities of what is hap-pening while charting your new normal with hope and courage.
©2020 Doug Dickerson