Here are six important ways you can step up that each of us can do in our workplaces and communities right now: 

  1. Leaders take care of themselves. Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others. As a leader, taking care of your own emotional and physical needs first is essential–and part of that is differentiating between our needs and our fears. 
  2. Leaders ask for help. We solve problems more effectively together than we do alone. It can be hard to ask for help because it can feel like admitting that we can’t do something on our own. Leaders face their fear of showing vulnerability in the interests of being more effective. In the course of that, they model positive behaviours. 
  3. Leaders manage their own emotions with others. One of the most difficult emotions is fear. And it’s really hard not to be afraid given all that is happening. We’re afraid for ourselves, for our families and loved ones, and for our society. When we look around, the people we most respect are overcoming their own fears and offering lightness, generosity and emotional stability. They’re offering their colleagues help and support and understanding that none of us is the same person we were just a few months ago, and that many of us now have greater demands.
  4. Leaders maintain their focus in the face of adversities on helping others to stay calm and to do their best.
  5. Leaders reach out, connect with, and support others. With many of us now at home, it’s a lot harder to feel connected. Leaders check in on other people, make them feel safe, and cared for. One thing it’s easy to do is take a bit of time to run through the people you normally interact with. When was the last time you chatted with them? If it’s been a while, you can be the one who reaches out.
  6. Leaders stand up for others and for what is right. What’s it like to be the only person on a team who has young kids at home? Or the person caring for an elderly parent? Or a co-worker who may not be as secure as you? That person may be feeling overwhelmed and scared of speaking up for themselves and their needs.