Your roots are showing...

Your roots are showing...

No, not your hair, but how you show up as a leader. Knowing your purpose helps set the stage for being authentic in all you do.

Your roots are showing… And I don’t mean your hair, although that may be true. No, I am talking about who you are, what your purpose is and how you are handling this crisis as a leader.

This week I heard Ron Tite talk on how to turn chaos into composure, not an easy task these days.

If this pandemic has done nothing else, it has shown us true leaders – like Trudeau and Ford, who have stepped away from partisan politics and focused on the task at hand - keeping people physically and financially as safe as possible.

Now is not the time to turn up looking like your stock photo of what a leader should look like, observes Tite. “Authenticity is being comfortable with your imperfections.” The leaders who are doing well are those who are grounded in a higher purpose.

Before COVID-19, shares Tite, there was a hierarchy of who business served – shareholders, suppliers, employees, customers and if there was time, and an inclination, the community. Now, it is the other way around. The key focus is on the community first, then customers, employees, suppliers and then shareholders.

Tite sees three steps to leading authentically –

1. be grounded in your purpose,

2. take action based on your purpose

3. communicate your purpose and action to your various stakeholders.

He used an analogy of racing car drivers, on how when it came to turning a corner on the track, they would slow down to give the car stability, but then before leaving the corner, accelerate to garner momentum.

That’s what we need to do. “The exit from the corner is more important than the entry.” he observed. If we have come up with a way to adjust or change the way we do business to fit today’s new normal, then we need to be ready to race ahead.

When Tite said “your roots are showing,” I immediately thought of my Scottish upbringing. I believe growing up in the UK, has shaped who I am. I like to think I am grounded, down-to-earth, with a keen sense of humour. Traits that have got me through troubled times in the past.

Being grounded in your purpose makes it easier to plant those seeds. It gives you a focus. It gives you credibility in all you do and helps you earn the respect of your peers.

So what about your roots? Have they helped you during these past couple of months? What sort of roots are you establishing for your children, your employees or customers?

Perhaps tuning into what is your purpose, is a positive way to spend your time in social isolation, as I suspect for many it is unclear or has changed.