One of the things I find incredibly strange during this time of COVID-19 is the stock piling of ammunition and weapons. If the result of this for humanity is that people are willing to kill for the sakes of toilet roll or a piece of chicken then we really are in trouble. I like to think and certainly hope that this is not the scenario we’ll find ourselves in. Instead of giving in to fear and building a defence around our personal castles I choose to see more of the new community and compassion that is being created.
A gift of home brewed beer that my Man’s friend dropped off for him at the door!
There are some genuine rays of sunshine coming through the clouds of this storm. People offering services to neighbours and their local community, people spending more quality time with kids, husbands, wives, girlfriends, housemates, getting time to do things in the home they’ve been putting off but are meaningful to them. New community, albeit remote, is springing up. Friends planning evening Wine & Chats, film nights springing up online, so that isolated people can be brought together and I’m talking with friends in LA of a Zoom dinner date, which we’d never have thought of previously. A great example for me is James Sills, who is a choir leader, who I’ve sang with before and absolutely adore. He created the Sofa Singers and in his first two sessions had well over 500 people across the globe wanting to join in, he was featured on Radio BBC3 and also the BBC 1 News so do look him up – he’s amazing! His next sessions will be on You Tube so that any number of people can join. If you enjoy singing, or not sure and want to enjoy giving it a try from the privacy of your own sitting room – look James and the Sofa Singers up and give it a go!
Believe me, I also understand this is a time of great stress, pressure, fear and sadness. It is a very tough time, much harder for some than others. What I see is a chance for a real increase in conscious leadership; being considerate and respectful of others and holding a genuine care for those whose your action may affect as part of any decision making process. Think of the Google leadership who made the decision to offer unlimited sick pay to any employee infected with Coronavirus.
A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.Eeyore
It’s important to remember that we are all leaders to some extent. Whilst we typically think of the CEO of a business, a Prime Minister or a Manager of a Premier League football club, leadership is a subtle and subjective thing – we are lead by whomever we consciously or subconsciously allow to influence us across our lives. Our parents were the first to lead and influence us, our teachers, our friends, our colleagues and peers as well as our bosses, our fitness teacher, the social influencers that we choose to follow, are all leaders. Vice versa, whenever we interact with others, whether directly or indirectly, they are influenced by what we do, be that positively or negatively. This interaction is then a snippet of information held in their mind that might influence future action they take. By default the people you spend the most time with whether at work, following on social media, watching on TV or within your social circles, whether friend, colleague or public figure, will likely have the greater influence over you. We each get to choose how we influence others and how we choose to be influenced.
You find sometimes that a thing which seemed very thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.Winnie the Pooh
The ability to influence others is a central aspect of leadership. Influence has an element of negative connotations, it can sound a bit like brain washing and in extreme cases it can be but that’s not what I refer to here. I’m talking more about the subtle daily influences we can all share out to those around us; creating community, reaching out to friends to check they are okay, respecting the request for the first hour to be dedicated to the elderly and vulnerable in the supermarket, following social distancing advice to protect those around you. Think about what you have to offer and don’t be afraid to put it out there knowing their is no act of kindness, no genuine gift that is ever unneeded.
You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.Christopher Robin
Now is the time, more than ever, to be conscious of our actions and behaviours, to recognise what type of leader we have been. The great Pooh Bear and his friends were wise on many things, which is why I’ve included several of their thoughts for you to ponder today. What type of leader do you want to be? and who are you going to let influence you?