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Lead Like George Washington When The Future Is Unpredictable
Life After COVID-19 Has Changed Us All
We’ve all been through a lot. An abrupt change in our lifestyle can be stressful and uncertain for anyone; especially when it’s beyond our control.
But in the case of COVID-19 it was necessary. And for the good of humanity; we muddled through it. However, we’ve emerged different. As the country opens up and our life begins to resume, the changes we’ve encountered have made us all stronger and braver—but not the same.
As business owners, leaders must embrace the responsibility to adapt to changes. Yet in order to remain successful and relevant, leaders must lead in ways that are often unforeseen. It’s time for leaders to lead.
As Americans, our spirit has always lead us to step-up, putting in the hard-work, and following through the grit to emerge better on the other side. That’s who we are.
Yet when you look back in history—in the days of George Washington—change in times of crisis was not all that different. In 1776, when the Continental Army lead by George Washington, lost every battle to the British army, change was necessary. As a leader George Washington’s greatest trait was his ability to see present circumstances, and make adjustments to his strategy that required new tactics.
A Journey Is A Path Taken By Those Who Lead
To his credit George Washington did have a noteworthy advantage. He once served under the British General, and was familiar with the British model of military promotion. Under this model, leadership positions within the military were lifetime appointments. Washington knew his current army of farmers, laborers, and merchants did not fit this model. Therefore, changes to his style of generalship was imperative. In order to have an advantage in the American war, Washington realized he had to promote his senior officers to authority; and dismiss those soldiers who were unwilling to accept this change.
These new officers supported their army, making strategic decisions from the guidance of front lines troops. Such participation offered a “buy-in” to support this new leadership model. These noble acts by Washington showed initiative. Washington knew his army had potential, and he was determined to enforce those strengths. Such lessons can be applied today especially in uncertain times.
Employers Lead By Listening and Delegating
The pandemic impacted everyone. The pause in our normal routine, created both a hardship and brought us unity. Under similar circumstances, George Washington also paused after his own hardships. This allowed him to capitalized on opportunities, make adjustments, and improve his strategy. As we work towards the same goal—of adapting to the changes and getting back to work—new state guidelines require strategic thinking. This could be an opportunity for employers to ask their staff for guidance and ideas among the duties they regularly perform. Ideally improving daily activities could result in rewarding employees who over perform with more responsibility.
When change is necessary, those individuals who make sacrifices for the good of the organization, are more willing to “buy-in” to the changes necessary. The upside for employers who make these decisions, is they receive support from their staff. And the staff is more willing to comply with the revisions they help create.
When leaders lead, they adapt to changes before them. Much the same way George Washington reexamined his army. Leaders develop a plan to strengthen their organization by building a team with unity. Leaders don’t accept failure rather adjust to difficult times and forge ahead with new tactics. These leaders embrace a “can-do” attitude by doing whatever they can to emerge better; stronger. When leaders lead, your competition maybe looking at you wondering how your succeeding. Ironically, George Washington’s example might be a lesson worth sharing.
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