Now Is The Time To Activate Individual Capacity

03/25/2020 06:00AM

A week ago I began my Forbes article with this:

“This is guaranteed to be an unpredictable year for U.S. businesses – and leaders are not ready to deal with the tensions that will result.”

I had no idea how immediately and deeply that unpredictability would present itself. 

All of us made plans for 2020, and all of us are rethinking those plans – or, will soon be rethinking those plans once we’ve emerged from the crisis.

This is a reminder that you are not alone.

I’m sure you’ve been hearing that a lot: “We’re all in this together.” And that’s true.

But that’s not what I mean here.

Some leaders may think they need to be the one with the answers, the one with the solutions, the one with the ideas, the one with the comfort, the one with the encouragement, the one with the plan.

Those are all important things that people need right now.

But they don’t all have to come from one person. They don’t all have to come from the leader.

Activate Individual Capacity Immediately

You probably have many different individuals within your organization who solve for those exact needs.

Take these steps to identify and activate individual capacity immediately: 

  • Make a list of all the actual things you need to do (set up Zoom so everyone can work from home, clarify and possibly expand sick leave policies, etc.).
  • Make a list of all the supporting things you need to do (reassure your people, reach out to people who are already sick, reassure your customers, etc.).
  • Make those lists available far and wide throughout your organization. Ask for help from anyone and everyone. People love to help, and they love it even more when they can choose from a list of actual needs and when those needs align with what they do well or enjoy doing.

This is not complicated. This is not some brilliant new strategy. These actions are common sense – but they often get ignored when we’re in crisis mode.

No matter what you’re trying to achieve, you need people at their fullest capacities connecting with and elevating each other as they individually and collectively contribute to a shared mission.

Momentum ignites when people recognize their own capacity and realize they can influence the success of the mission through their own individuality.

You are not in this alone. You are surrounded by individuals with extraordinary gifts and they thrive when they’re enabled and put to the right use.

Learn more at: 

Unleashing Individuality: The Leadership Skill that Unlocks All Others (2022)