How to Lead When Your Team Is Exhausted — and You Are, Too
“What happened to my resolve?” a leader remarked in the middle of a session.
We were discussing how he and his team were navigating the second wave of the pandemic and responding to the breaking news that a vaccine might be on the horizon. On the surface, everything was fine: The business was thriving and his company was in a good position.
Still, that remark captured his true concern: On a personal level he was experiencing a loss of agency, determination, and energy. The “steady hand” approach and rapid action mindset that had characterized his leadership during the first wave were becoming fuzzy, less ingenious, and much more volatile.
As we dug through the layers of the organization, it turned out that the feeling was widespread among other leaders and managers. Stress incidents were on the rise, people’s emotional reactions were becoming more polarized, and there were more team defections…
Altruism is key to a more resilient society
The pandemic has been bookended for me by two personal events, one altruistic and the other selfish. The altruistic event happened in March, when the senior centre in the Bay Area where my father goes for activities closed to protect its service users. A volunteer, himself retired, decided to hold online classes on history and literature for those interested in attending. He has been offering these classes four or five days a week since then, providing older people stuck at home, including my father, a daily routine, social interaction, and education…