As summer 2020 neared its end, our WCA@Lunch meeting attendees spent time with Pam Benson Owens, President and CEO of Edge of Your Seat Consulting. 

She discussed the current Rules of Engagement for leaders right now, and why we all need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Our workshop helped attendees self-reflect on their leadership skills pre-COVID19 and right now. 

One attendee shared in the post-event survey, “I tend to think immediately of ‘leadership’ in terms of the professional environment, but it really can be applied to all facets of life. Pam also had me, for the first time ever since the pandemic began, thoughtfully consider what has changed pre- and during-COVID. Several aspects have been positive—so much that I’d like to keep them long term.”  

As we continue to move forward through 2020, and into 2021, Pam’s leadership advice and  takeaways from this workshop ring true. 

When it comes to Leadership today, remember:

  1. Uncertainty is a playground for high stress and anxiety. 
  2. We are conditioned as women to say we are alright—even (or especially) when we’re not. 
  3. There is a heightened sense of responsibility around maintaining the health, well-being and wholeness of ourselves, our team, our organizations, our neighborhoods, community, all the things…..
  4. The potentially additional stress regarding work/workplace instability/furlough is real. 
  5. If your entire construct is type A (which of course is often the case for leaders) then not having solid answers is already problematic—add in safety and it is an obstacle. 
  6. It’s different. Leadership whilst in crisis is different! It just is.

Regarding your leadership right now, get real specific about:

  1. Alignment and then action. 
  2. How you as a leader are intentionally connecting with the current landscape/ecosystem of the new normal. You can’t say, “We’re all in this together” and then never define what that actually means. 
  3. Priorities: as in, get almost ruthless and linear about it. (Pam has a 3-a-day-rule to keep focused on what matters)
  4. The capacity to manage time and energy; and recognizing the difference between urgent and important. 
  5. Have the courage to say what you are NOT going to do. 

Leadership tactics and strategies: Take care of yourself first. Here’s how to implement with yourself and your team:

  1. Do a trust check. It changes in times of crisis and uncertainty. 
  2. Do an expectations calibration check. 
  3. Review what you may be repeating that you haven’t repaired in terms of how you lead and engage with yourself and your team. 

The event was valuable to those that made it, and helped us put things in perspective. Don’t miss the next one! Check to find and register for WCA’s upcoming events here





Women Communicators of Austin
Latest posts by Women Communicators of Austin (see all)