I recently boarded my first flight since March 13th. What used to be so familiar and common now feels awkward and uncomfortable. Flight schedules are different. Masks are required (meaning one more thing to juggle in the TSA line). Most of the businesses and restaurants throughout the concourse are still shuttered. Airports that used to be bustling with activity are now sparsely populated and somewhat ominous feeling.
As someone who flew nearly every week for on-site consulting or speaking at conferences, I have to admit that all of these changes made me feel out of sorts. What used to be comfortable and familiar is all new and unknown.
This same feeling is present to all of us as we begin reopening our businesses and regathering in our churches. “New normal” is a phrase we’ve grown comfortable using but let’s be honest “new normal” is not comfortable at all. It’s requiring new perspective, new attitudes, new ideas and new leadership from us to meet the challenges of this new normal.
Here are four things I’m learning to embrace as we enter a “new normal:”
1) Embrace a new perspective. While there are elements that will feel familiar, we must embrace the perspective that our circumstances have changed. We won’t be going back to normal. We must release our hope for “when things settle down” or “when things get back to normal.” It’s a new day. Habits, behaviors and expectations have shifted for all of us, and the future looks different. That’s not necessarily bad, by the way. Different simply means different. Let’s embrace what’s different and choose to lean into it.
2) Embrace a new attitude. There have certainly been moments over the last few months where I’ve been angry and irritated by all the changes and what it’s required from us. At times it has felt unfair. But one of the few things I do have control of is my attitude. I do get to control my response. And as a leader, how I’m responding to the challenges presented by this season speaks volumes to my team. They are going to follow my lead. I can choose to be annoyed by what’s changed or I can choose to embrace it with an eye on the opportunity that it will present.
3) Embrace a new idea. Innovation is birthed in constraint. The limitations of our circumstances can breed creativity. Again, it’s your choice. What new idea do you need to consider? Look for the idea generators…those creative types that naturally see ideas and possibilities and listen to what they see. You don’t necessarily need to be the chief idea generator. Just make room for the ideas to surface and, more importantly, take a risk and try one of those new ideas.
4) Embrace new leadership. What do you need to do differently to lead better in this season? I promise something different is needed from you as a leader. It might be a new perspective, a new attitude or a new idea. This is an opportunity for you to grow as a leader. What does your team need from you? How do you need to engage them differently than you have before? Do you need to lead the organization in a new direction in order to be relevant in the future?
What “new” is required of you right now?
Keep leading well!
Jenni Catron and The 4Sight Group
Jenni Catron is a writer, speaker, and leadership coach who consults churches and non-profits to help them lead from their extraordinary best. She speaks at conferences and churches nationwide, seeking to help others develop their leadership gifts and lead confidently. As Founder and CEO of The 4Sight Group, she consults with individuals and teams on leadership and organizational health.
Jenni is the author of several books, including Clout: Discover and Unleash Your God-Given Influence and The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership.