How to Lead with Positivity
By Phyllis Ehrlich
Group Vice President, Spectrum Reach
Whether you are an aspiring or experienced leader, it’s never been more important to harness the power of positivity than during the current pandemic. In a good way, a true leader’s attitude and actions are contagious and can help people through a crisis.
Here are some ways you can lead with positivity, starting today:
Most of our businesses have been turned upside down. What can you do to make an immediate difference — even a small one — in your business? For example, my boss and our Chief Revenue Officer proactively mobilized our sales leadership team in mid-March to design a COVID Action Plan. We sprang into action and developed a plan to help both our sales team and thousands of clients across the country, many of them small business owners. We provided real-time category and business insights as well as opportunities to create a few commercial or change advertising copy to announce delivery or curbside pickup. We built a tremendous amount of goodwill and some new processes and disciplines, which are now ongoing and foundational to our overall strategy.
RAISE YOUR HAND
Especially if you are an aspiring leader, think about how you can raise your hand and volunteer for an additional or special assignment. This can result in many potential positive outcomes, from the personal reward of making a significant contribution to increased visibility across your organization. Senior leaders are impressed with people who demonstrate calm and resilience in the midst of uncertainty.
SHOW GENUINE CONCERN
Now more than ever it’s essential to connect with people on a personal level. All of us are facing unprecedented challenges, and there’s a tremendous need for understanding and compassion in the workplace. Whether it’s your boss, colleagues, team members, or clients, start a conversation by asking “How are you doing?” Really listen to the answer, and then perhaps share any ideas or inspirations that are working for you. For example, various friends and colleagues have shared pandemic playlists, recipes, and workout regimens to help nurture a sense of well-being. If you are in a leadership position, let senior management know what you are hearing, and as appropriate, support needed flexible working arrangements and accommodations.
PLAN VIRTUAL FUN EVENTS
At Spectrum Reach, our 2020 “business not as usual” performance evaluations will include a team culture goal. My team, located all across the country, developed a “Summer of Fun” bi-weekly series of virtual events, including a trivia contest, internal and external guest speakers, and murder mystery challenge. One of our team members designed a great “Summer of Fun” t-shirt, and another created an online commemorative photo album. The camaraderie boosted all of our spirits, and we’re keeping the fun going with a new virtual series of holiday events.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
To maintain that can-do, upbeat attitude, remember to take care of yourself, too.
As our countless webinars and virtual days blur the lines between work and leisure time, it’s important to recharge and rejuvenate. Take a few days off, and focus on things you can safely enjoy, whether it’s a fall nature walk, book you’ve been wanting to read, new recipe, at home facial, or binge-worthy new TV series. Find some time every day to nourish your mind, body, and soul. For me, it’s perfecting new vegan muffin recipes (pumpkin is the current family favorite) and end-of-work day virtual workouts with my husband in our NYC apartment. Pandemic push-ups against the kitchen sink anyone?