Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash We’re already in the middle of August, and as the calendar tips toward Fall, there’s still a lot of coronavirus challenges to deal with. Maybe you’re tired of reading about it, or maybe you’re tired from having to live through it—either way, this is certainly a season that puts everyone to the test.

Especially leaders.

If you’ve ever heard me speak
in person or listened to my podcast, then chances are you’ve heard me say this
before:

“The are no two good consecutive days in the life of a leader.”

That’s certainly true these
days. While leaders are used to being tested, they’re not necessarily used to
being tested quite this much. Daily, it seems that leaders are pushed to their
very limits, and I’ve noticed that many of these tests fall into one of four
types:

Teams

If you’re a leader, few things
require your time like the people you lead. While the most obvious impact of
the pandemic has been on physical health, leaders must also consider the
emotional and mental health of their people as well. Add to that trying to
manage the logistical challenges of allowing people to work in office or from
home, or the economic challenges of keeping staff on or making cuts, and you
can see how, wherever the next few months lead, you’re going to be tested first
and foremost in your ability to lead your people well.

Time

All leaders know that managing
time can be a challenge on a good day, but it’s even harder right now. If you’re
working from home, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that it can be easy to allow time
to become flexible—and if it’s true for you, it’s true for your people. Or
maybe you’re back in the office but can’t hold meetings or other gatherings the
way you used to, which means you need to find new ways to maximize your time.
Making the most efficient and creative use of your time—and your team’s time—is
definitely a test you need to keep in mind.

Troubles

I usually don’t talk about troubles
or problems—I usually talk about opportunities! Within every challenge that
comes your way, there’s an opportunity embedded within. But during a season
when so many problems come at you so fast, it’s easy to lose that mindset; it’s
easy to focus solely on the troubles and ignore the possibilities. As a leader,
you need to safeguard your mindset so you don’t allow problems to mount and
opportunities to pass you by.

Transitions

Whether you’re talking about
people, buildings, or systems, the last test a leader regularly faces is the test
of change. We’ve all felt the pressure of this particular test over the last several
months, and signs are pointing towards that pressure continuing—if not growing.
While change is natural, not all change is healthy; healthy change is growth,
and as leaders we need to be on the lookout for growth opportunities and growth
lessons within this pandemic season. We need to build on our personal strengths
as well as the strengths of our people, because this is a time where
innovation, creativity, and courage rule the day.

It’s times like these that I wish I could mentor every leader personally; I wish I could spend a day with you, listening to your challenges, asking you questions, and sharing insights from what I’m learning. It helps to have a mentor to guide you during challenging times, so I encourage you to not go it alone.

Coronavirus or not, there are still more tests of your leadership to come. Your people are looking to you for an example during these difficult days, so I hope you’re preparing yourself daily.

Stay sharp, stay flexible, and stay humble—these are tough times for leaders, but they won’t last forever.