Leading through a crisis can carry a heavy weight on the mind. In the blink of an eye, what was once the management’s push back on accepting a workplace flexibility plan to adjust hours and work off-site has surrendered to the necessity of having to work remotely. What was once considered normal is now abnormal.
Having employees spread over multiple locations during a whirlwind of transitioning has to raise plenty of concerns. Is everyone on the same page? Do they fully understand what’s needed to get the work done? Will technology be an issue? Every time you view your concerns negatively, your mindset is already making it harder for you to complete your own tasks.
The questions and concerns can go on and on. But leaders cannot expect to micromanage, especially from a distance.
The one most important thing to hold your attention to is not your employees. I know that is not what you expected to hear, but have you considered shifting your focus from your employees to yourself?
When was the last time you felt that you actually loved what you do? The concerns of leading from afar will become less of a distraction when you consider the possibility of working with a true purpose instead of only working to get the job done.
In 2005, Steve Jobs said to a graduating class, “the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” My addition to his quote is you have to work anyway, why not find ways to enjoy it every day? As I am a stickler for enjoyment in all life domains, I totally concur with Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, “being able to enjoy your work is the main factor in getting into a state of flow.”
Flow is the experience you have when you are “in the zone”. You experience feelings of being fully focused, creative, and a capacity where ideas are flowing freely.
Being in the flow and enjoying what you do is an overall productivity booster and enhances your performance. Leaders who enjoy their jobs are more likely to be optimistic (less concerned about what can go wrong), motivated (not working half-heartedly or timid by taking risks), learn faster (more inclined to master new skills), make fewer mistakes (regulated, self-controlled and disciplined) and make better business decisions (persistent in spite of obstacles).
Enjoying your work creates passion for it and energizes you, giving you more fuel to put towards success. The trick is figuring out how to make yourself enjoy even the most tedious tasks of your work.
Csikszentmihalyi’s research shows that once you take on a task with a positive mindset and think of the benefits you can reap from completing this project, your work is more likely to happen in a steady, concentrated flow.
Here’s how to make this happen for you.
You have to deliberately shift from a negative to positive perspective. I know we’ve been barraged with the positive mindset thing but to truly enjoy anything in life, including work, positivity is the prerequisite. Use a positive mindset to find your drive and build confidence in yourself. If you feel confident and secure with the work you are producing, you won’t be apt to question the work ethic of others. Also you will be able to complete your tasks to your fullest potential and coach others to do the same. Please know, without this overall positive mindset, confidence is absent which leads to second-guessing yourself and becoming ineffective.
You have to locate your passion in the work. I also know it isn’t easy to enact an overall positive and passionate mindset while completing tedious assignments, especially while working from home. Distractions are everywhere. In order to change the way you think about work, you must also change the way you do your work. Be committed whether you’re with a team of many or a party of one. First you must look for significance in your efforts. Bearing in mind the mission or vision you’re working to achieve means living it by what you do. To illustrate, I’m driven by my mission to improve the practice of management wellbeing and its impact in a volatile world. In my efforts, my significance is raised as I see my part in the overall big picture. As you adapt your workflow to your mission, this encourages positive change and takes you one step closer to success.
The biggest mistake to avoid during any crisis is seeing your work through a negative lens. Be aware of the mindset you choose. And also be conscious of the benefits you create for yourself as you think positively. In turn, work will become more enjoyable and easier to master whether working remotely or on-site.
Written by Dr. Deana Murphy. Have you read?
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