A note from Sarah: Today’s guest writer is a fan favorite, Teresa Peterson from the SNoW Co. team!
As Sarah and I work with groups during this universally challenging time, it has reinforced my belief that hard times illuminate our individual character and our company culture. When I am in situations that are difficult to navigate, I often use the strategy of “choosing my headline” as a guide. I learned of this strategy while I was early in my leadership journey and it has helped me countless times.
When we choose our headline, we force ourselves to get to the core of our actions and the story that will be told about them. This can be a bit painful when we do it in retrospect, but when we use this strategy proactively, it provides a good mirror for our choices and allows us to make more informed decisions that align with our values. In addition to guiding our actions, the headlines we choose play an important role in establishing our legacy because they are the stories told over and over by the people around us.
As we look back at the last few months, these are some headlines we have encountered from our work with CEOs and their teams:
- CEO shares personal struggles during pandemic; vows to allow grace for all team members.
- CEO annoyed by people working from home, insists no one is productive.
- Manager to team: Why can’t we just force people back to the office now?
- Team leader makes it clear that no one who continues working from home will be penalized or excluded.
- Business owner gives paid company-wide mental health day.
- Program Director pauses roll-out of new program for one week to better communicate changes.
This strategy can offer a fun perspective on things at home, too:
- Son unloads dishwasher without being asked!
- Mom ignored laundry so she could rest. Everyone survived!
- Man finishes project he started two years ago!
- Friends deepen connection through weekly walk through the woods.
I shared this strategy with my friend who owns her own business and her team will be sharing their headline for the week during their Monday meeting so they can support each other in making it real.