When we were young, we played the game – what do you want to be when you grow up… We would lie on our backs, looking at clouds, dreaming up the most amazing heroic contributions we would make to the world (around us) that will make us happy – but mostly what we think would make the people around us happy. I wanted to wear a uniform and become a police officer!
We grew up in a world were ‘world’ meant our immediate family, our street, neighborhood, town, and if you had a HUGE vision – our country… If somebody happened in our town, we might hear about it a week later in our local newspaper – IF it was important enough for us to read it. If something was not news-worthy enough according to the local newsroom, it did not make the papers.
However, if something happened in our street, the ‘street-news-letter/reporter’ made sure everybody heard about it… It is easy for us to spread the bad things that other people do – in our eyes – rather than good efforts…
Today, we know everything at the click of a (google-)button – if we are interested in it or not, if it is local or not, in context or not. “Our world” now has a global footprint. The crisis in another country becomes the blueprint of the crisis in our country, our province, our district, our town, our neighborhood, our street, our home, our hearts…
What if we can still dream… What if there is an alternative path guiding our experiences through this trying time…
Take a moment to watch this music video…
… the time to share has come; … I dare to dream
A legacy is the story of someone’s life, the things they did, the places they went, the goals they accomplished, their failures, and more. Legacy is something that a person leaves behind to be remembered by. Legacies are pathways that guide people in decisions with what to do or what not to do.
What legacy do you want to leave? How would you like to step out from lockdown once it is lifted?
- Would you want to be a victim or a leader?
- Would you want to be a statistic or a change-maker?
- Would you want to be in crisis or offering solutions?
- Would you want to be passive or lead?
We don’t know what the future holds. We are not even clear on what we hope it would look like if we had a say in it. We are trying to balance what we hope it will look like with what we know it will not look like (ever again). We are spending so much time on surviving and hoping, that we neglect to dream and prepare.
Humankind currently needs purpose-driven leaders who remain consistent at their best performance. Purpose-driven leaders with a clear understanding – and are comfortable with it – that people now need ‘the vulnerability speech’ (it is okay to feel vulnerable in this time) rather than ‘the motivational speech’ (let us reach for success!). Purpose-driven leaders who understand that the vision and mission needs to stay the same in order to provide a sense of ‘known’ to contribute to stability, but who is brave enough to re-align operations to address current needs.
Let’s get real. It is not only the company’s needs that changed over the past couple of months. Staff needs have shifted too. People want to know what they will return to when allowed. Individuals had the time and space to re-think their purpose in life, what legacies they want to leave, the skills they have to offer, and the dreams they had for themselves growing up. It is not only company structures that need to shift into a ‘new world’. Every person’s shift into their ‘new world’ can provide solutions to companies if they were offered the opportunity to communicate this freely…
Purpose-driven leaders need to identify new skills to take the company forward – and find those skills, and make it happen. They need to
- allow these voices to be heard – with no fear of potential consequencial dismissals
- conduct skills audits of current staff – do you know what they really love to do, are good at and have to offer
- find the unique contributions and skills of each staff member needed in the current context
- and apply people’s skills in the most appropriate roles
I am proudly South African! Many voices are going up in criticism and a lot of energy is spent on social media platforms on pointing out errors or gaps, fear of being excluded from support (fears based on different reasons) , or lack of progress in our country. People I respect and follow and support sometimes add their voices to these popular discussions. Although I understand this and share the losses and frustrations and have these small debates in my head, this is not the legacy I want to leave moving into the future.
I ask myself – How do I want to lead through this crisis?
- Do I want to be a leader who panic – running around like a headless chicken trying anything (done that already) and criticizing anything and everything around me
- Do I want to be a passive leader – freeze long enough to miss the point and miss the immediate needs of people (been there) only to wake up as a follower
- Instead, I choose to be a purpose-driven leader – reset-regroup-relaunch en Show Up, Step Up en Give Back