Obstacles or Opportunities

Leadership

How many times have you heard ‘unprecedented’ since the COVID19 season hit us? It truly has been just that! I heard a new one today that was beginning to be tiresome for some and that is ‘fluid’. It’s true, that word totally captures so much of our current path – fluid – who knows the future. In our challenges, I find great hope.

Do you see opportunity?

Recently while spending some time in quiet devotion, I was inspired by a simple phrase in the midst of a powerful story. Early believers and leaders in the Christian faith were sharing the hope found in Christ. In Acts we find a leading disciple, Peter, in a situation that had options. He had choices about what to do next, and it says in Acts 3:12 “He saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd.” NLT

I know that is teasing out a bit of an obscure phrase in the midst of the situation of this narrative, but Peter, in his situation assessed the situation, saw the opportunity and pressed “go!”

What are the opportunities?

I have been considering much through this season, as we all have I’m sure. One of my dear leader coach friends, Jeremie, challenges people to consider on their next steps in the journey what will be “my aha take-aways, and what will be left behind.”

Here are some things on my “take-away, leave behind” list:

  • More time reserved to think, rest and ponder. Simply, slow down.
  • I am leaving behind mindless churn. There was a pace that was not even recognizable for so many of us until this time-out.
  • More time invested in simple time with family and friends; meals, walks.
  • More time invested in relationships at work and in my own neighborhood – meaningful conversations.
  • More time invested in things that build strength in mind, body and spirit.
  • Flexible work environments and options.
  • Usage of technology and innovation; zoom, online media – for everything: family, meetings, connectivity, groups, large broadcasts, and podcasts!
  • Simply, and like Peter, using every opportunity to share how my faith in Christ gives me strength, in good and bad, stress free times and times of panic!
  • This is just a start…

Take this time to consider what you see, and then seize the opportunity. Time to start the engines in a new way!

COVID19 – Moving forward

Leadership

As COVID19 restrictions are lifting and we are entering into uncharted waters. There will be new guidelines for how we gather in groups. It is likely that how we gather will be different for some time. If you lead in your context (and we are all leading someone) now is the time to keep the right mindset in guiding. We can guide people to adjust to new ways of doing things, communicating clearly what’s ahead, and quite frankly, just staying calm.

Delicate navigation

A few years back my wife was invited on a special cruise and I was glad to be her personal assistant! I was fascinated by something I had never seen before – the cruise ship Harbor Pilot. In the image above, you can see the Harbor Pilot boat that ferried the Pilot on and off our vessel. The Pilot is not on the full cruise, but rather is on board long enough to assist the Captain in safely navigating the harbor, around other vessels, and obstacles and barriers.

I serve in a large organization. In the best of times it takes the ‘seven touches’ of communication to get through to the largest percentage of our people – like with any organization. We simply need to hear something seven times for it to get across. Add to that the very real and heightened sensitivity of COVID19. The plan and communication has to be crystal clear. This is also made even more complex by the range of people’s reactions to COVID19. Some may respond ‘this is nothing, why aren’t we back to normal’ and others ‘this is dangerous, and we should not be out at all’.

Keep it simple

As we prepare for some uncharted waters, like our own new schedule we’ve never had before, I have heard our team share frequently – this has to be simple and clear. We are working even now to strip away minute details with our communication pieces to just the basics. In other words, we want to answer the biggest questions. We want to respond to the biggest concerns. Then we describe the first steps. If subsequent steps and answers will come as people are literally on that path, there is no need to clutter the first round of instruction.

Say it multiple ways

The Communications Director in our organization, and our staff do an amazing job of helping us get the word out! There is a pretty massive message communicate over the next days as we relaunch our campus on May 31. It will involve sharing it in multiple ways: website, social media, e-newsletter, video, letter, card, and networking with leadership groups.

As we pilot our organizations through this new harbor, be confident of where you are headed. Narrow down and simplify what you need to communicate, and share it often and in multiple ways. And yes, stay calm and positive – we will get through this!