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5 Keys to Personal Agility during Crisis

Posted by Carol Seymour on Mar 24, 2020 10:00:16 AM
Carol Seymour

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“I never lose. I either win or learn.”  Nelson Mandela

We are in one of the biggest learning chapters of our lives.  

With COVID-19 changing our daily routines, we feel many things are out of our control. It would be easy to fall into despair and feel stuck. But I know when we get through the other side, we will look back on this time and acknowledge how much we were pushed, pulled, and forced to grow. Now is when we can think outside the box and try doing things differently than we have before. There is goodness in this if we take advantage of the opportunity.

Every few minutes, we are bombarded by another big announcement regarding the virus. Those of us who can work from home know that our work-from-home environments have drastically changed. Children are in the next room doing online classes or competing for your attention. Some are dealing with huge emotional challenges, as their senior year in high school has been shuttered and what was once a near celebration is overshadowed by the real term challenges.

With constant change around us, it has never been more important to cultivate personal agility. During our Signature programs, we cover a wide variety of actions to increase leadership impact. Many of those were designed to help improve personal agility. So, let's revisit your intentions in several areas and then you can share them with your family and friends.

There are 5 key “STAYS” for personal agility.

Stay healthy – leaders need to have energy to give energy. You need resilience and mental clarity to manage through a crisis, so be sure your nutrition is supporting that goal. Is the kitchen table, now serving as your “home office,” situated close to a pantry full of bad snacks that are fogging your brain? Rethink your strategy and be intentional about what you are putting in your body. Hydrate. Take time away from your “office” to have meals with your family or to step outside for fresh air every 90 minutes. Most importantly, remember, “change your physiology to change your psychology.” If you need a boost of energy, try simply moving to a different location.

Stay open – the COVID-19 virus reminds us that no one person has all the necessary knowledge to tackle complex issues. Tap into the ideas and experiences of others. Our Signature Network is here to support you and so is your team. Everyone around you has a different perspective, so remove the pre-judgement and use an alternative viewpoint to expand your own.

Stay connected – you can’t go it alone, or problem-solve in a vacuum. Most everyone, in this moment, is feeling isolated. This is the time to check in on your loved ones in other places and utilize technology to spend quality time with them. Even though we can’t shake hands, people need to feel cared for and connected. Be proactive to reach out to your colleagues and schedule virtual coffee chats. Do something unexpected for someone else. Write notecards to people thanking them for what they mean to you. Giving a piece of ourselves to someone else makes us feel more connected. 

Stay inquisitive – you don’t need to know the answer, but you do need to know what questions to ask. I find the easiest way to think about this comes from a simple approach: Assume everyone else is right, and take it all in. If you are already thinking about what you are going to say next, you are not fully listening to the other person. Enter every conversation from the perspective of what you can learn.

Stay passionate – this is the time to “double down” on focus. By zeroing in on your unique gifts, operating in your gift zone for greatest value and impact, and using these gifts to inspire others, you create a spark. Positivity is contagious, and that is the contagion we need now more than ever. People need to see your spark.

The list of five “Stays” will help you to be intentional. They will allow you to create forward momentum and energy. In an environment that feels very much “out of control” at this moment, these are 5 things you can control. 

We will not lose. We will first learn a whole lot. And then, we will win… together.


Topics: Leadership, Intentional Mindset, Setting Priorities, Self-Care

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