Taking the Lead During Crisis: Great Leaders Must Think About What They Think

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Everyone needs to just calm down! You have probably noticed that, as a country, we are collectively spiraling into an emotional depression. You have probably noticed that we are simultaneously working our way into hysteria, each day’s fear mounted on the back of yesterday’s. This, of course, generates even more fear that, guess what, breeds more of the same. The result? We are perpetuating the very conditions that frighten us the most, the ones that we say we want resolved.

I am NOT suggesting that the state of our economy or the political disaster in the White House or global aggression, for that matter, are not problems of epic proportion. What I am asking you to consider is who you are in the midst of all of these crises.

We get what we focus on. There is not enough room on this page to cite all the research that tells us this is so. If we are sitting around masticating the issues day after day saying to ourselves, and to those who will listen, “Things sure are bad around here,” then we are perpetuating the cycle, not changing it. If, however, we’re discussing the state of the world with the intention of doing our part to resolve the situation then this, of course, is quite another thing: It’s called leadership.

Do not, for a moment, mistake changing our focus with denial or avoidance. Denial basically says, “We don’t have a problem” while avoidance says, “We have a problem and you can deal with it, I’m outta here.” What can you do? Think different.

I’m urging you to stop and think about what you think. That’s right. It’s time to become far more conscious about what we think (even if we don’t speak that thought out loud) and the repercussions of those thoughts. As a child, my mother told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.” I’m updating that a bit—“If you don’t have anything nice to think, don’t think it.”

Why? Because our thoughts are things (thank you Quantum Physics) and those thoughts and therefore, our focus, determines what we create. So…..Where are you putting your energy? Into discussing our multiple crises or resolving them? Into doing the same thing over and over again, or to using the unique and creative skill set called YOU?

It is our job, as conscious leaders, to not only break the cycle,but to begin a new one based on an entirely different set of expectations and outcomes. As leaders it’s our job to get creative. Crisis is the time for you to shine (how weird is that!). Crises helps you to show the world what you’re made of. Crises (unfortunately?) create the opportunity for you to volunteer a suggestion that, at another time, wouldn’t even be allowed in the room.

We’re called leaders—we are at the front of the line determining the direction of those behind us. It’s our responsibility to set the standard, the tone, the mood and the attitude of those who are choosing to follow us. We need a plan for our own personal code of conduct. We need a plan to align our thinking with our goals. We need to do this NOW.

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