Leading through uncertainty and enabling businesses to thrive starts with the mindset of the leaders. Even without COVID, market dynamics are ever-changing and ask for adaptive leaders.
Instead of resisting change, we are asked to drive the necessary transformation of ourselves, our businesses and maybe even entire markets. For transformation to be successful, it has to start with us — the leaders. Here are five practical tips on how to reframe our mindsets so we can capture any opportunities which come alongside the disruption.
Tip #1: Embrace the challenge
Don’t try to control the uncontrollable. We can save a lot of energy when we don’t resist changing circumstances. We might not like the curveballs thrown at us, but given that they are here already, why not embrace them?
Our biggest challenges invite us to enter uncharted territory. And it is there — outside of our comfort zone — where our biggest growth occurs. It’s a chance to lift our leadership capabilities to the next level. We might get worried that we don’t have the answers. Yet, steering through uncertainty is the essence of leadership.
It’s less about the technical skills you might be looking for and much more about learning to master the inner game.
Tip #2: Assume a mindset to succeed
The key question to ask ourselves is: “Am I motivated to avoid failure or am I motivated to succeed?”
Be honest with yourself. There is nothing wrong with being afraid. None of us want to fail. Yet we are much more likely to fail if we are run by our fear of failure. Instead, we need to tap into the part within us which gets excited by being challenged.
It’s helpful to remember that we have access to that part. Think about a time when you dealt unexpectedly well with a challenging situation. What did this expansive mindset feel like? Once you assume this mindset again, it will lead to growth emerging from deep within your inherent potential.
Tip #3: Have the courage to extend your limits
Whether COVID or any other challenge, the primary question is not what you need to learn but who you need to become. Profound shifts occur when we take a new path. We have to switch off the autopilot we tend to live on for most of our lives.
Intellectually, it is easy to understand that what got us here is unlikely to get us to the next level. But putting this wisdom into practice requires courage because we have to explore new territory.
We have to accept that, for transformation to occur, we have to be vulnerable because setbacks seem the journey. Remember tip #2 and stay motivated to succeed when things don’t go your way.
Tip #4: Let go of what is holding you back
Whatever challenge we are facing, it is only a challenge for us because we are part of the problem.
Something within us is holding us back to see the solution. No doubt, it is confronting to ask ourselves how we are part of the problem. Once identified though, we can transform like the caterpillar to the butterfly.
An example from my past is that, while I was a team player, I did not let go of my urge to control. My transformation was to fully trust my team, which allowed true collaboration and catapulted all of us to the next level.
Tip #5: Explore what you are capable of
COVID might threaten your business, but I bet that, at the same time, it creates completely new opportunities. All transformation journeys tend to have scary starting points. By embracing uncertainty and letting go of the fear of failure, we can overcome whatever keeps us stuck.
Our comfort zone expands. My final tip is to not get too comfortable in that cosy place. We have worked too hard to get to the realisation that we are capable of amazing things when entering uncharted territory. Why not make reinventing yourself part of your leadership?
Dr Kay Bretz is the author of Turning Right: Inspire the Magic (Major Street Publishing), a facilitator of transformation, an executive coach and an inspirational speaker.