August 16, 2020

COVID Hair? Don’t Care! Adjusting Your Leadership Style.

COVID hasn’t been the only major life change for me in the last several months. In the midst of that, I also left my long corporate career and embarked on my new adventure of coaching, writing, consulting and semi-retirement.

Both of those major transitions have caused me to re-evaluate lots of things, including my level of every day formality (see also my blog post about my purple shoes). I’ve decided that there’s a lot to like about being a little more laid back (within many contexts).

I often talk with leaders about how it’s important to consider both the person and the situation when choosing a leadership style.

The best leaders can draw on a whole repertoire of styles, depending on who they’re working with and the context in which they’re working.

Sometimes that requires flexibility and rapid shifts.

I’ve spent most of the last week in classes and conferences, including the last 3 days.

In the one I just finished, they asked us to keep our cameras on the whole time. The first 2 days I “dressed up” (relatively). This morning, after I got back from working out, I pretty much went straight into meetings, broken only by time for church (also virtual).

So, today was casual, and (as you can see in the picture), no shave. That’s all pretty radical for me.

When it was all over, I came down for dinner and my dear wife said:

“Why are you wearing that hat??”

I simply said “I didn’t want to have to wash my hair.” She laughed and laughed, and made comments about how fast and simple it was for me to wash my hair. Yeah, yeah….

Besides, this was my favorite Akubra Snowy River hat that I picked up in Brisbane earlier this year. I managed to scoot out of Australia right before the crazy virus shut the world down.

Anyway, since there were a lot of Aussies in this conference, I found it entirely appropriate. I also hoped that having a little fun helped us to connect. Not to mention that I was certain it was better I show off this excellent hat than my scary COVID hair.

Anyway, I’m afraid I’m starting to get into the retirement (semi) mode, and COVID hasn’t done much to encourage me to spit shine (at least on the weekends.). I’m okay with that.

Think about the times when you’ve had to rapidly adjust your leadership style to accommodate different people and different situations.

How’d you do with that? What worked? What didn’t? What will you do to better adjust in the future?

What’s your COVID, don’t care story?

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