"Zoom" in on your Leadership

Dec 08, 2023

There are so many free webinars on leadership, crisis management, stress handling, etc. related to the Corona crisis. I get completely stressed out scrolling through the invitations on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Now, I haven't attended them, so I can't really relate to the content, but a thought occurs to me. Most of the leaders I know already know what it takes in these times.

For example, I had a conversation with a top executive yesterday. He told me how much time he spends on Zoom meetings currently. In fact, he felt like he was working more now than before the Corona crisis. But he also mentioned that a significant portion of the time he spends on Zoom is dedicated to maintaining social contact with his leaders around the world. That's leadership in times of crisis!

His input made me reflect on the two most important things in leadership right now:

  1. You need to be present for those around you.
  2. You need to be present for yourself.

If you have to choose, an hour on Zoom with your key employees is far more important than, for example, a free webinar on how to handle the crisis. Instead, use the time on a Zoom call where you are present as a human being. Where you listen empathetically. Stephen R. Covey, the author of the bestseller "7 Habits of Highly Effective People," introduced the concept of Empathic Listening 30 years ago. You should listen to understand, not just to respond, as Stephen points out in his timeless and still relevant book.

You need to be present for yourself.

Another thing that, in my opinion, is very important right now, and which you won't get from a free webinar, is to listen to yourself. To use the time now to reflect on what kind of person you are.

I am very grateful that one of my younger talented coaching clients recently drew my attention to one of the most exciting books I've listened to in a while. The book "Essentialism" by Greg McKeown provides thoughtful suggestions on how to cut away the unnecessary and focus on the essential. The essential in your leadership and the essential in your personal life.

He begins the book with the quote:

"The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non-essentials." - Lin Yutang

Perhaps you have a unique opportunity right now to pause and listen to your inner wisdom and experience. Adjust your course so that you are sure you are focusing on what is essential for you. In my experience, many leaders have so much insight that if they pause and reflect, they know where they need to go, and then they save a lot of time listening to experts on Zoom.


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