True Leadership: Be the Example
Our country has gone through some of the most trying times we’ve seen in years. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma mark the first time two Atlantic Category 4s have made U.S. landfall in the same year. Together, Harvey and Irma are estimated to have caused between $150 billion and $200 billion in damages, which is more than the $160 billion that Katrina caused. Between the loss of lives, the major flooding, and an unknown number of people affected by these storms, we can easily call this a catastrophe.
Analysts say the US Economy should expect notable subtractions in the third quarter, and these storms have affected everything from gas prices, unemployment rates, cost of goods, and tourism. While these effects may be short-term, some of the damage is long-term, and could be affecting the people in your organization. It might even be affecting you personally.
“True leadership displays itself most vividly not when things are easy—but when they are rough.”
True leadership displays itself most vividly not when things are easy—but when they are rough. Stories about heroes don’t focus on the high points, but the trials and tribulations needed to overcome adversity.
Make yourself available. Set the example. Let people know through your attitude and actions that things are going to be okay—or be honest enough to let them know they are not. Set clear direction. Demonstrate confidence even when you are unsure. Have the courage to confront problems.
It is easy to become isolated and believe that others aren’t experiencing the same things you are. Spend time with your people. They can help you gain perspective…and vice versa.
Lastly, it is easy to do nothing. It takes no particular skill—no talent to allow circumstances to guide your hand. Fear makes its own path, just like Harvey and Irma did. Those who truly lead take risks. It is not easy, and can be painful, but with risk comes the knowledge gained from the experience. It is having the courage to make the right moves, even though you are not sure of the result. That’s true leadership.
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