It’s time for you to reconnect with those you need to lead as part of your community and reestablish yourself in a community leadership role. The only way to successfully transform your community brand after we all return to the workplace from COVID-19 restrictions is to take unexpectedly simple actions that immediately amplify your leadership, scale your impact, and deepen your relationships.
Here’s your shortcut to reconnecting as a leader as COVID-19 restrictions relax.
In the “return-to-work” phase of the pandemic, an elite group of established and aspiring leaders are considering the magnitude of opportunity to re-emerge stronger than before. Most business leaders will take on the obvious work of reconnecting and reestablishing routines that mainly involve new COVID-19 safety precautions.
However, just beneath the surface of basic responsibilities lies the exciting possibility to reimagine the way your relationships work with your people: your communities, stakeholders, and those you strive to engage or activate.
Reimagine who you can be and take steps to accelerate your ascension to leadership!
During COVID-19’s compulsory time away from others, you may have seen the opportunity to grow and change. Have you considered that you can emerge as a better colleague, business associate, or leader? Most people fail to realize they actually became more effective.
Working under the worst of circumstances forces you to do things differently. Without realizing it, you have been trailblazing, improvising, and problem solving. Your transformation can be the dawn of opportunity, if you recognize how you have changed and then use your new skills intentionally.
Hope, courage, and the right guidance is all it takes to change the course of your life.
And what a missed opportunity if you pursue the same goals now as you had before COVID-19.
Right now, you have this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a new first impression with the people in your community—to reconnect with them as a leader. This is the one silver lining to a time when relationships have suffered in the absence of normal routine. Join the elite leaders who are going to reset expectations and achieve more than before. Don’t let old impressions about you define who you are now and who you can surely become.
These are your new key performance indicators (KPIs):
- Establish new partnerships to expand your reach and insure your long-term viability.
- Raise your visibility with industry, business, community, and civic leadership.
- Create, nurture, and, most importantly, restructure relationships with the right people.
Take action now
The following unexpectedly simple tactics are used by our clients and members to achieve these KPIs.
Build on your “stay-at-home” experience
- You must have a good answer—a great answer— to the one question that recharacterizes your reputation. That question is: “What did you do during the pandemic to serve your community?”
- Be generous and empathetic about how other people have spent their time. Avoid the appearance of being judgmental.
- Put a plan in place that continues to connect you with the issues and community priorities that you initiated during the “work-from-home” time period.
Come back stronger: now through 2021
- Be flexible when the pandemic waxes and wanes over the next several months. Polish the systems that kept you productive and don’t slip into bad habits.
- Keep up your networks. If you created social pods or other ways of connecting on a personal level with your community members, pay attention to those networks as much as you did during the work-from-home time period.
- Aspire to more than you did before. Don’t be beholden to your past status. Punch above your weight until someone tells you that you can’t. This is the time to align yourself with those who you seek to be your peers.
- Catch yourself “doing it right,” so you know what successes to build on. Find the kernels of what you did that were truly effective and well-received. Do them again or slightly differently – or do them with other communities so you create growth with low-stress, high value activities.
- Continue to take care of yourself. A leader with less to give, gives less than the best. You need to save your energy and develop a “restoration response” so you can go the distance. Think: “swim, float, swim, float…”
Are You Ready?
Use your time wisely as you meet with your people face-to-face.
- Choose to meet in person with the people who you need most, not just those who you miss or who ask you. Have a game plan of how many meetings you’ll have when you can have them, because you might be forced to “Stay at home” or self-isolate again, so make the time to meet count.
- Be prepared for the meetings you do set. Research the people you are meeting with. Use social media to find out what your person has been up to during this stay-at-home time. Be cautious about assuming their LinkedIn profile reflects what actually is happening in their work life.
- Determine what the point is of having each meeting. What’s the ideal outcome of the meeting? Here are the right questions to ask yourself as you take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to form or restructure your relationships in this new era:
- How do I want to be perceived? As a peer, leader, up-and-comer, eager, distant?
- What traits, abilities, and accomplishments do I want to be known for?
- What do I want this person to say about me when they recall the meeting with others?
- What action would I like this person to take?
- When would it make sense for us to meet or talk next?
- Craft the language that aptly and quickly communicates how you want to be seen or quoted in a post-pandemic world. What are the key phrases you want attributed to you? How do you want to rebrand yourself as you take control of your future? Use your “brand language” in meetings.
Remember who you may have forgotten.
Continue to reach out to people from whom you may have grown distant. Host appropriately sized and spaced gatherings and include people you don’t regularly connect with. Consider past associates, clients, employers, employees, or others in your current or former industry. People will be hungry for justifiable interactions. Give them something meaningful that they crave.
This is not a journey to take alone. You, like all elite and aspiring leaders, need a cohort of motivated peers and the guidance to identify the specific actions that create the future you are seeking.
I have created a special COVID-19 Community Brand Accelerator cohort that will meet every month virtually for 90 minutes, for the next nine months. By the end of our time together you will have:
- Clear personal purpose/mission aligned with professional goals
- Definition of your Community Brand
- Path to raised profile with media and key audiences
- Connection to key leaders outside of your existing sphere
- Opportunities to test key messages with your community brand
- A peer network of aligned leaders
The nine sessions cover:
- Defining your niche: your personal purpose relative to your professional goals
- Creating and engaging your community
- Creating and empowering strategic partner organizations
- Creating personal media opportunities
- Vouching and evangelizing
- Defining your online voice and strategy
- Aligning with your targeted peers
- Receiving recognition for your community brand
- Securing speaking engagements in front of the right audiences
Once again, I want to you help you achieve that potential you have stored up during the hibernation of isolation from COVID-19. Let’s explore how you can break through the past limitations and create the community brand you need to succeed! LEARN MORE.