I love summer. I love the smell of it, the bright sunny days, the sunsets, the warm breeze and how the blue sky seems to put a spring in your step. One of the benefits of living in Melbourne is we do get to experience four seasons, sometimes all in one day! We know our winters will be cold, our spring quite mixed, we have warm autumn days with cool nights and relatively hot summers. The seasons are one thing we have certainty around. We know the transition from one season to another will start at particular times of the year and in this volatile and constantly changing world, there’s a sense of comfort around that. This is one thing we don’t have to waste time anticipating if it will happen or not.
The certainty of seasons is similar to the sense of certainty people are craving in a leader. They want to know what they are getting and they expect to get it consistently. They are looking for leaders to live up to the values and promises they espouse and they are looking to be almost grounded by this. Which sounds counterintuitive to a point, but that sense of groundedness enables them a solid anchor from which they can then feel confident to contribute and do their best work.
These people are your people.
Your people want to know that their leader can adapt from one situation to another – work through challenges, celebrate success, transition change and lead business as usual, all the while remaining the same leader at the core, providing that sense of certainty and confidence that who they are being led by is solid. Your people want to know that you are approachable despite what is happening in the business, that they can communicate with honesty and receive the acknowledgment of doing a great job, the coaching and feedback they need to grow and develop.
Your people are looking for consistency of character, strength in leadership and for you to stand for something.
You only to have look at the diabolical state of our political arena. Will a real leader please stand up? There is now a groundswell of dissatisfaction with the narcissisms, the indecisiveness, the apparent unwillingness to tackle the meaningful and critical issues that affect the world we live in and the inability to actually take a stand for something. People are looking for someone to identify with, who will provide that sense of calm in this chaos and say follow me _ I get it, I get you and together we can do this. Where are they?
You are these leaders in your world. You can do this.
This comes back to having clarity on who you are as a leader, your values, what you stand for and what you don’t and have having your own very solid leadership foundations from which to build on. The worst possible thing you can do is to allow your attitude and leadership style to be influenced by situations, busyness and the inevitable challenge that will come your way. You have to learn to adapt, pivot and reflect, but the constant in it all is you – the person- the leader.
In our rapidly changing, complex and challenging environment, you need to be the constant, you need to be that person who can calm the chaos and lead the way, providing certainty and confidence to your people that things are ok – you can be confident in one thing -I am your leader and we will navigate this together. Be that leader that people are craving – someone that lives true to their values and who is relevant to the people they are leading and the world they are living in.