As leaders, when a crisis hits, we have the opportunity to help others navigate a new reality. However, often, we step into leading others while we ourselves are navigating changes in our own lives. It can be a tricky process to navigate, but we believe that the steps below will help you find a way to lead yourself during this time so that you can lead others well:
1. Put your people first
In the middle of a crisis, you must prioritize the people that matter to you most. We encourage you to first and foremost care for your family and then care for your team and people affected by your ministry.
2. Stay informed
Don’t rely on others to give you information. Take the initiative and stay up-to-date with what is going on in the world by consistently checking news outlets and emails. However, take caution in how much time you spend watching the news or on social media - be sure to fill yourself with good and positive things as well!
3. Be flexible
Flexibility comes from being stretched. During this time, roll with the punches, take things one day at a time, and make an effort to find something good in every situation.
While we are physically distant, we can still be socially connected! We encourage you to schedule lots of meetings over Zoom or FaceTime, where you can see people’s faces and chat. We also encourage you to use this time to connect with people outside of your work as well.
5. Communicate judicially more than continually
When you communicate “judicially,” you’re determining what people need to hear in that particular moment; don’t feel the pressure to say something just because you think people need to hear from you. When you communicate, we encourage you to make sure what you say is purposeful, practical, and brief.
6. Be authentic
Change can be hard on people, and if you’re feeling the weight of the COVID-19 situation, don’t hide it. Be real with how you feel, but when communicating with your congregation, always be sure to stay positive.
6. Manage yourself
It is impossible to manage others well unless you’re managing yourself well. Have structure to your day and evaluate yourself continually. Consider asking yourself questions like:
How’s my eating?
How’s my sleeping?
How’s my exercise?
We also encourage you to reinstate practices that you upheld in your regular schedule before COVID-19. For example, if you were waking up at 6:00 a.m. to go to the gym before work every morning, continue to wake up at that time and workout from home. Managing your time and schedule well will help bring consistency to our constantly changing world.
During this time, there’s not a lot you can control - but what you can control is you. Focus on leading yourself well, and your team, church, and community will benefit from it as well!
For more resources on leadership, check out Grow Online!