3 leadership actions to help your team stay resilient during challenging times.

Do you lead a team?

Do they teach, present or run professional learning programs?

If so, here’s three actions that you can do that can help them stay resilient 💪🏼, during this time of disruption. 

I’m not talking about resilience as a Band-Aid that’s used to cover core challenges taking place within a team, system or organisation.  

I’m speaking of the kind of resilience that will help them navigate the stormy seas and help them reach their intended destination. 

To learn these three action, it’s important to understand how effective captains sail ships.

Action #1:  Focus on the destination

Being an effective captain of a sailing ship requires a few things. First, the captain must know where he or she wants to go. 

Without being clear on the direction, the waves and weather would be in charge, not the captain.

When your leadership does this, you’re helping your team stay focused, limit distractions, and stay inspired for the important work they do.

During days, months, years of disruption, the team might not be able to see the destination.  But your leadership will remind everyone that it’s there.  

Action #2: Use common tools to reach that destination 

Next, the captain must know the tools and mechanics of the ship and know how to use them well to arrive at the intended destination. The tools are the keys that unlock the potential of the journey.

For example, captains need to be well versed in how to use the sails and the wheel, and understand how the rudder works. Each tool is an important piece of the system that is the ship. 

The captain knows the wheel, sails or rudder are not the destination. They’re tools captains use to get to the destination. 

When your team has common tools to reach the destination, you’re helping them stay innovative, flexible and resilient.  That’s because a common toolkit can lower people’s cognitive load and help them stay focused.  

Action #3: Show your team the impact of this destination

As a leader, I want to suggest one of the big tasks is to show your team examples of the destination.  For example, if your school or professional learning team’s #1 focus is to make learning stick for everyone (I hope it is!) bring in people to your team who can explain the impact this work has had on their lives.

Bring in former students, parents, past participants and others who have benefited from the work your team is doing.

This is the stuff that helps keep your team resilient, motivated and inspired to sail their ships, even during the roughest of seas. 

With deep respect,
Dr. William DeJean

A question for you...

As a leader, what are you doing right now to help your team stay resilient during these disruptive times?


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