Leaders Show Up For Their Teams

We have all heard the phrase “showing up is half the battle” applied to many life scenarios – parenting, school, working out, being a good spouse. The same can be said for leadership, that leaders show up for their teams. In this episode of the Lead From Anywhere podcast, I take that idea step further and expand it to discuss the importance of how leaders show up.

Showing Up is a Big Part of Leadership – Listen Now!

Why Must Leaders Show Up?

Every decision a leader makes, no matter what’s going on around them, has pros and cons. There are always opportunity costs and potential consequences. But this pandemic has forced leaders to consider a whole different level of consequences, concerns, pros, and cons. Some decisions have literally had life and death consequences.

Yes – leaders everywhere are struggling through this pandemic.

When I question if I’m doing enough as a leader,  if I’m even leading at all, my wife quickly reminds me that I am. I am there, doing the work, in the trenches, and trying to make good decisions based on information I have at the time.

And that’s when I try to remember that showing up is a big part of leadership. Being there when your team needs you. So how do you show up as a leader, even when it feels like the wheels are falling off?

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What I Focus On to Show Up As a Leader

First, I make sure I am accessible to my team. They know when I am in the office, and we use Slack to keep in touch throughout the day. If they ask for a call or meeting, I make it happen.

Second, I strive to be consistent in my approach to making decisions, When it comes to decisions, I rely on data, along with a healthy dose of my gut instinct. I also ask my team for their input. When I do make a decision, I explain why I made that decision.

Third, I make sure to remain calm when talking to my team. The last thing they need to see is me losing it. So, I make sure I don’t lose it in front of them. And trust me, I do lose it. But not in front of my team.

And finally, I make sure that when I show up, I’m able to show up in a compassionate and empathetic way. I show up to listen, to make sure they feel heard, and to make plans that result in the best decision for the most people.

How Can You Show Up As a Leader?

If you’ve never thought through how you show up as a leader, take a few minutes to write some of those things down. It doesn’t have to take very long; it can be just a list of 3-5 words. It’s a good idea to know what those words mean, though, in various situations (like a normal Tuesday or during a crisis), but a list is a good place to start.

One of my employees told me recently, after we had gotten through the initial Covid spikes in 2020, that she appreciated how I was always there in a calm way. I didn’t minimize what was going on; I also didn’t sugarcoat the potential impact on the business and their jobs. But I was there, calmly taking things one step at a time. And that was what my employee thanked me for doing.

You and I, we know that leadership is often a lonely job. The hard decisions and impossible situations land on our plate, and it’s our job to deal with them. It’s important to remember that a big part of our job is showing up.  But more than just being there – it’s how we show up that really matters.

Written by : Julie

Julie Bee is the founder of Lead from Anywhere, founder of BeeSmart Social Media, member of the ForbesWomen Forum, and graduate of Goldman Sachs 10KSB program. In her spare time, she grows trees, paddleboards, cooks with cast iron, and tinkers.

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