Time for a stock-take? Reminder about the 4 C’s when leading during COVID

Back in the early part of 2020, we all were thrust into the new reality of the enormously changing landscape brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic. Our personal and professional lives were (and still remain) changed significantly, and everyone rallied as best they could to share ideas about how to change our practices, and nurture our resilience reserves.

Back then we ran many workshops supporting leaders navigating the challenge of leading teams who were no longer co-located. We synthesized the tips we were sharing into 4 core themes – which we called the 4 C’s.

Enough time has passed now, living and working under these circumstances that most leaders would have built into their leadership approach, practices that would align to and positively contribute to each of these 4 C’s.

We all learnt through circumstance; we learnt on the fly; we learnt by mistakes; we learnt from others, we learnt by ‘feel’… But this length of time for learning is actually a double-edged sword! Leaders have been able to build and fine-tune new habits into their leadership approach – but the majority are now very tired and depleted. And many are finding it difficult to motivate themselves. Whilst it is good that leaders have become more comfortable with these new leadership habits; there is a chance they might not have noticed things have become a bit stale, that some practices are in need of a refresh, or may not have noticed there might now be a gap!

We’ve decided to share these tips for the 4 C’s this month, to provide a self assessment option for leaders! Most of you will already be doing many of these things – however it is useful to stop for a moment – and do a quick ‘stock take’!

  • Am I doing this often enough?
  • Am I doing this well?
  • Has this got tired?
  • What else could I / we be doing?
  • Who else in the team could be leading this?
  • Is it time to change focus and attention on this ‘C’ block?
  • Or specifically…
    • CLARITY – As the goal posts shift again, and workloads increase, what can we say ‘not now’ to?
    • CLARITY – What expectations need to be re-calibrated?
    • CLARITY v CARE – How do I deal with the tug of war between workload and well-being?
    • CONNECTION – What relationships outside of the team might we have neglected that we need to reinvest in?
    • CARE – What habits have I found myself doing that aren’t serving me well?
    • CLARITY, COMMUNICATION – As we see the possibility of emerging to a new hybrid way of working, what could we be using this time for now to get ready?
    • CONNECTION – Is it time for the team to have a ‘lessons’ learned discussion, and plan for the ‘what next’?
    • COMMUNICATION + CARE – Can we go back to older technology for some meetings – use the phone and everyone walk around their backyard?
  • Of the 4 C’s – what is the one area that needs a reset?

Click here to access a slide deck with simple tips to mentally tick off. Refer to the questions above and do some sense-making!

What is the one thing you could do as a leader that would make a positive difference to yourself and your team this week?