For many years I’ve been telling you in Leading Thoughts that business leaders are far more influential in society than they understand. Some futurists even predict that before long people’s values will be shaped by their work environment more than their places of worship. This is challenging information, I know, but it is true.
Now, in an age of coronavirus, consider this. People around the world are indicating they are more likely to believe their employers about coronavirus matters than they are governments. They rely on scientists and medical experts, but they want to hear from their employers. They trust them. They are eager for their input. They are more likely to change their behavior based on what their employers say. This comes, by the way, from an Edelman Trust Barometer 10-country survey.
I share this by way of urging you to see yourself not just as a leader in your firm but as a leader in the crisis we are undergoing. I have observed in my years of consulting that leaders are leaders. They don’t just lead in one category or one arena. They are looked to for leadership in other arenas. The woman known for leadership in the publishing industry is sought out for wisdom by her church, her local government, her political party, her social service group, and even by family members. She can’t contain her influence, can’t put borders around her gifts. People see who she is and want what she has. This is the lot of leaders.
So now we are in a crisis that touches every person on earth and in every arena of their lives. Fear is rising. Resources are tight. People are looking for leadership. You are elected. You read Leading Thoughts because you see yourself as a leader and you have influence on others. Use it. Encourage people. Point out the way forward. Stay connected. You can make a huge difference in the days to come.
I’ll tell you something else. That Edelman Trust Barometer survey indicates that in the US more than half of those surveyed say they want daily updates from their employers. Some 20% say they are looking for updates several times a day. This means that millions of Americans are looking for those who lead them at work to lead them in their broader lives during this crisis. Sounds like an invitation to step up to me!
Your influence is needed. Why not send out a daily text or email? A short but regular podcast during the crisis might also change lives and build transforming loyalty long term. It’s easier than you think. I record my podcasts on an iPhone attached to a Rode microphone and then the recording is engineered. You won’t need the engineering for an in-house podcast and a Rode mic is just a few hundred dollars. In fact, I know one leader who is now doing a daily recording for his company using the Voice Memos app that comes standard on an iPhone. In other words, it costs him nothing but some time.
What do you say? Here, I’ll get you started. China is already seeing a dramatic drop in infection rates. In fact, they are closing some of the hospitals they built to handle the crisis. This is likely the back edge of the wave coming our way. Would this be encouraging to those you lead? Here’s the article. Start with this. Then, talk to folks. Tell them we’ll get through this. Our ancestors faced such things and were better for it. We will be too. Let’s pray fiercely, love well, be generous, and use this gift of time wisely. Good days are coming.