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The League Team Talks Leadership

28 May 2020 10:00 AM | Anonymous
  • For many people right now, the recent spread of the COVID-19 virus has turned their professional work world upside down. People have moved from office settings to at home set ups. Quiet spaces can be hard to find, and many might be feeling the lack of camaraderie or companionship that comes with the workspace structure. In times like this, it can be especially challenging to show up as a leader.

    So, in our current socially-distanced world, how do you practice leadership?

    We recently asked some of our Global Leadership League volunteers and board members to share advice on leadership during these times of transition and uncertainty. Their answers offered great insights and varied just as much as all the individuals that shared them. Here is what they had to say…

    “What is one tip you would share about applying leadership in these times of transition? What is one idea you are utilizing that you think others could benefit from?”


  • 1.  Try to utilize and stay inspired by your organization’s mission when making tough decisions as a leader in this time.


  • 2.  Transparency and vulnerability first – it’s important that your team knows that it is OK to not be OK during these uncertain times and that we are all experiencing discomfort. This opens up lines of comfort and builds strong bonds. Mistakes will happen, things will slip as we have heightened stress, but we will get through it if we are vulnerable and open with each other.

  • Consider Radical Candor by Kim Scott or Dare to Lead by Brene Brown for good leadership books on the topic of vulnerability and transparency.


  • 3.  A simple one perhaps, but important in the current situation. Be grateful. Our teams are working hard – often sacrificing sleep or juggling family – to meet work expectations.  This is a new norm and a simple, kind gesture of appreciation can make all the difference.


  • 4.     Slow down! I see so many people rushing to 'prove' that they are still working as hard, or even harder than ever before. Mistakes and knee-jerk reactions are not what is needed now, but rather cool, calm, collected and informed decision making.


  • 5.     Remember to focus on values as the driver of decision-making. I try to let go of what I thought I would be working on and instead ask myself every day what is most important for me to work on that will support my organization, my team, and our stakeholders.

  • I re-read this poem regularly: 

  • There is no controlling life.

  • Try corralling a lightning bolt,

  • containing a tornado.  Dam a

  • stream and it will create a new

  • channel.  Resist, and the tide

  • will sweep you off your feet.

  • Allow, and grace will carry

  • you to higher ground.  The only

  • safety lies in letting it all in –

  • the wild and the weak; fear,

  • fantasies, failures and success.

  • When loss rips off the doors of

  • the heart, or sadness veils your

  • vision with despair, practice

  • becomes simply bearing the truth.

  • In the choice to let go of your

  • known way of being, the whole

  • world is revealed to your new eyes.

  • ~ Danna Faulds


  • 6.     “Grace" is my new norm and I am applying grace in the following ways:  1) If someone doesn't answer me right away or in a timely fashion my usual assumption is "What are they doing don't they know this is important!" But now I am saying "Okay, they have family to deal with and are most likely waiting until they can get a quiet moment for a thoughtful reply vs something from their phone."  This has proven to be true. 2) I work even harder to set mutually acceptable deadlines and really ask myself "Is it that urgent or am I just thinking it is urgent?" before I hold someone to a task.  They have a lot to contend with including spotty internet so it may take more time. 3) Finally, I am applying grace when I see them on Zoom and they don't look happy or excited.  Life is draining right now and endless zoom meetings are as boring and complicated as endless meetings in an office.  I always try to start with a meme, joke, or get everyone to share something and then people loosen up.  I know they cannot always be thrilled with their life and the work in this new environment. That’s my word of the month - GRACE.


  • 7.     The most effective approach I am taking is understanding colleagues with childcare / elder parents, or households that are challenging for working from home. Knowing my colleagues and the teams I work with, we have been very flexible about work schedules- not setting any deadlines that are unrealistic and asking each other to work around our availability. Flexibility has been key. For example, it is 9:40 pm where I live and I am starting my work day as I just put my son to sleep. Leadership has to be about understanding every individual's personal challenges right now and being fully aware of their home lives and providing as much support around this as possible.


  • 8.     I am watching my partner’s team “guess” at what their leader is “implying” but seems unwilling to put in writing. It is causing stress, phone calls, text messages, etc., all filled with misinformation and hearsay. Strong leadership is absent in this situation. In an alternative scenario, there would be an outline of expectations complete with steps on how to complete the tasks, etc. This may not feel like leadership, but in times of crisis – and this is a crisis – leaders must also be strong managers.


If you are interested in learning about different leadership opportunities, communities, and conversations, consider joining the Global Leadership League now for a special discounted price.* Learn more here about joining The League. Additionally, our League volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization and we couldn’t do it without them. If you are interested in volunteering with The League, learn more here.

The mission of the Global Leadership League is to ignite change across the global education field by empowering, connecting, and training leaders. We invite you to reach out to us here or learn more about becoming a member.

*50% off all memberships, both individual and group. This is a limited time offer, good through April, 2021.


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Our members come from different backgrounds, abilities, levels of experience, and parts of the world. Our goal is to embrace this diversity and encourage relationships across generations and experience levels for the benefit of all involved. 

The Global Leadership League was started by a group of women in the field of international education for the purposes of advancing women’s leadership skills, knowledge, and connections.

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