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How to Lead Authentically From Home

What does good leadership look like during a global pandemic? Earlier this month, I was able to participate in a great webinar presented by the Global Leadership Network that addressed some of the challenges associated with leading from home. 

Here are a few pieces of advice I took away from GLN’s work.

Be Open About Vulnerability

Our new situation has given leaders the chance to express greater vulnerability. The idea of a work-life balance has fallen out of touch with reality, because our workspaces, our homes, our families and our professional lives have been forced to overlap.

Employers have a unique opportunity to build trust with their employees by opening up about the difficulties they are experiencing during this pandemic. By opening up first, leaders can create space for employees to express their own concerns about the future.    

Deepen Trust with Your Staff

Instead of aiming to be professional and efficient, focus on being personal and effective.

GLN’s speaker Patrick Lencioni said that we have found a new intimacy that is pushing us toward being “exceedingly human.” For the first time in history, we are seeing our coworkers in their homes every day during video meetings. 

Trust deepens as we realize that we are whole people that are juggling all that life throws at us. Right now, good leaders should prioritize the personal over the professional, placing trust in their staff to finish their work well, even if it takes a bit longer than normal.  

Establish A Rhythm in Your Schedule

To take care of your team, you need to take care of yourself. As we work within a new normal and adjust our days, it is still important to create rhythm or structure for your day. Don’t get me wrong, flexibility is still valuable, and it is not realistic to believe our days will look the same as they did before (trust me, there are three kiddos in my house that will tell you so).  

Still, there are simple ways to bring structure or rhythm into your life, even during quarantine.  

  • Dealing with stress:  If stress is something that can derail you throughout the day, try making an appointment with your stress. Schedule 10 minutes a day to experience the emotions of the stress and pressures you may feel.  This will allow you to be more efficient with your time and emotions throughout the day.

  • Workspace set-up: Even though we may need to work from different locations inside our house, think about ways to signal to yourself that it’s time to work. Try having a paper cue with your top five to-do’s or have a few items (notebook, book, pen, quote) that visually remind you that you are working, wherever your “desk” maybe throughout the day.

  • Create white space: Part of your rhythm should also include times to pause.  Schedule in time for you to transition or process when needed.  If necessary, also schedule the times that you check emails so it does not distract you from your goals for the day.  Be mindful of any unnecessary meetings or work you may be including in your day and remove them to create more time, more white space to focus and breathe.

If you’d like to learn more about the Global Leadership Summit event I attended or sign up for future events, you can find details here. I highly recommend finding a few events or podcasts that inspire you!

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