Leading with joy in a time of uncertainty.

In this uncertain time, how do we as leaders make space to see the positive in the midst of all the clouds? How do we find joy in our small victories to get us through these crazy times?

These days I’ve been listening to hard-core inspirational leaders like Brene Brown, Seth Godin, and Krista Tippet to find inspiration and lean into compassion. A great example of this is last week’s On Being podcast with Krista Tippet which featured Ross Gay, writer, and professor at Indiana University.

Their conversation was about the concept of joy in the face of death. Morbid right? I thought so too. But then I really thought about it and as I was reflecting I was reminded how precious life is and how the point of it is to spread joy. Below are the 3 ways that meant the most to me and I hope you find value in them too.

1. Reframe the problem.

Reframing can change the way we see a problem. We can look at the COVID pandemic and it’s easy to just see the negative and ask ourselves how can we be joyful in a moment like this? Or we can look for the positives. For example, on one hand, you can be worried about your local grocer who is staying open and putting him or herself at risk. Or, on the other hand, count your blessings and take comfort knowing that your grocer’s efforts also means your family can sit at the table for dinner at home. And ask, how can we not be joyful, especially in a moment like this?

2. Invert the pyramid.

When I say the pyramid, I mean the pyramid to serve which is about putting yourself last as a leader. To me, this means practicing active listening and finding ways to connect on a human level with your team. How about calling a meeting without an agenda, just to touch base as a group? It’s important everyone feels heard and accepted where they are, as they are. Openly acknowledge the contributions each person on your team is making and celebrate small victories as a team.

3. Show empathy.

Be honest with yourself and recognize that it’s okay to feel fear and anxiety about the current COVID situation. Recognize that many people may be struggling to cope. Be a resource and share facts and information freely and generously. Talk about new ways you are pivoting to serve your audience and community at this time. An example for me is writing these very posts. I’ve received many messages from people in the small business community with gratitude for the helpful information we’re sharing in these posts.

Cheers to sane, healthy and joyous days ahead!

Warm regards,
Ada Rosales
Founder & Chief Strategist
Bounce Marketing & Consulting