If there’s one thing we’ve seen a lot of in recent years, it’s change. Not just globally, but personally. Many people have changed jobs, sold their house, said goodbye to a loved one, or reconfigured their business. Even an intended change can feel stressful, overwhelming, or leave us feeling a little lost.
If you ever take a boat down the Brunswick River, you will find the most turbulence where the river meets the sea. As the river current meets the ocean current, it gets choppy. Transitions in life are like that too – when the current of our old life collides with the new, it can be a bumpy ride.
Essential leadership skills for changing times
Whether you lead a business, a family, or are simply leading your life, here are five essential leadership skills that can ease the transition.
1. Relax. Leaders who learn to relax, despite the busy-ness, not only feel better – creative insights come when they are calm. Start with simple presence here and now. Slow down. Take a breath… Relax.
2. Find your ground. When things change, we face unknowns, which can be disorienting. Feel your feet on the ground and ask yourself: what hasn’t changed? Confirming what you do know will make it easier to navigate what you don’t.
3. Get a bird’s eye view. Leaders spend more time working ‘on’ than ‘in’ their business. Likewise, if you step back and get a big picture of your life and the change you are going through, you will see where you are, where you’re going, and what you need.
4. Know your vision and values. Do you know where you are going? And do you know why? Think about your vision and values and write them out where you can see. Our purpose and direction gives us energy to navigate choppy waters.
5. Give yourself extra support. When you cross the current from the river to the ocean, maritime safety regulations require you wear a life jacket, which you can remove again once you are out in open water. Likewise, we often need some extra support to safely navigate big life-changes.