For Such a Time as This: Part 3
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

This is now my third installment in the For Such a Time as This series. In Part 1, I shared how a leader must first make a shift themselves in order to become a stronger leader for the purpose of helping others. The goal of Part 1 was to help the leader manage their own emotions and mindset. Similar to the safety instructions on an aircraft, you must secure your oxygen mask before helping others. Part 2 focused on leading team members during times of crisis through judicious communication and connection—all for the purpose of establishing a more positive life stance. Before we get into Part 3, I want to caution you that this process won’t be totally linear. By that, I mean you will need to go back from time to time and reaffirm previous conversations and activities. Now let’s jump into Part 3.

  • Optimism vs. Positivity – Marisa and I spoke about this on the podcast last week. There is a night and day difference between being optimistic and being positive. Positivity is similar to saying things aren’t so bad, or sheltering in place at home can be fun. Optimism is a belief that things will improve and the future will be positive. Notice the difference; it’s not pretending things aren’t bad or trying to talk yourself into a better mindset; it is the confidence that the future will be bright. This confidence is derived from the reality that each one of us knows how to survive a crisis because we all have.


  • Creative vs. Reactive – Isn’t it amazing that we are created as human beings with the ability to choose our mindset. We can choose to be reactive to our surroundings and the events in our lives, or we can choose to be creative. The leader’s role is to guide their team beyond a reactive mindset and toward creativity. Times of crisis bring about amazing opportunities.


  • Rapid Growth – Once the mindset shift occurs and creativity is embraced, we are on the precipice of a fundamental and rapid growth opportunity. Fear is paralytic and prevents growth, but once we can process through our fears, we are able to create our new realities. With the heightened urgency and focus the crisis brings, we begin to identify, embrace, modify, innovate, and grow.

As leaders, we need to lead with authentic optimism. Please remember this isn’t being naive or failing to embrace reality, but rather a clarification of reality. COVID-19 is a very real crisis, the likes of which I have never seen in my life. In my 58 years of living, I have seen many crises, and this great country of ours has survived and thrived through many more over her 244 years. After the Spanish Flu of 1918, epidemiology grew in popularity, and by 1925 all 50 states were participating in national disease reporting. Additionally, public health policies sprang up, providing a guarantee of treatment for anyone regardless of their ability to pay. We may not see everything now; we just need to keep moving forward.

If you would like to learn more about these three steps, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 148 of The Next Page podcast.

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