March 26


Unprecedented Times Means It’s Time to Practice What I Preach

By Sara Canaday

March 26, 2020

business leaders, coaching, communication skills, leader, leadership, leadership behaviors, leadership skills, management, strategic leadership

As someone who coaches, advises and speaks to leaders for a living, I do my best to arm them with insights and strategies to handle our volatile, uncertain, and always-on world. Now, with leadership conferences and workshops cancelled due to the global pandemic, it’s time for me to demonstrate that I practice what I preach.

What is that you ask?  Pause, pivot, collaborate with others, be open to different perspectives and opportunities, take time to separate the signal from the noise, and stay focused. Most of all, don’t panic.

By design, my business model has a mix of delivery styles and, for that, I feel utterly blessed.

I’ve worked long and hard to diversify and sharpen my skills so I can provide expertise to leaders in a wide variety of formats. My business might look different than it did a few months ago but, thankfully, it didn’t come to a screeching halt. I’m funneling more of my energy into online message delivery, and I’m using this time to reshuffle, redesign and reimagine the future.

What does that look like exactly? Here are a few examples of how I’m adapting, plus some questions that may help stretch your thinking:

  • Making time for a purposeful pause, so I can make sound decisions, separate the signal from the noise, make meaningful connections, and prioritize. How can you disconnect from the onslaught of news and sudden work shifts, so that you can be purposeful about how you proceed?
  • Reading whatever I can get my hands on about what it takes to make a virtual keynote presentation more engaging, robust and accessible. What can you do to arm yourself so that new ways of working are more effective?
  • Helping clients pivot by redesigning my in-person #leadership courses to make them effective digitally. How can you help your clients pivot more seamlessly?
  • Supporting a local video production company by renting their studio and crew to film presentations for virtual summits. How can you get behind local businesses that may be suffering the most from this crisis?
  • Supporting my network by sharing best practices and offering to help. How can you support your network and maintain a high level of “touch” in this “hands-off” environment?

For those of us who have dedicated our careers to training and inspiring leaders, it’s critical for us to genuinely understand their challenges and relate to the constant onslaught of change they experience. The current crisis is, unfortunately, giving all of us that opportunity.

How are you handling this unprecedented situation?

Sara Canaday

About the author

Sara began her journey working full-time while she earned an MBA. As she climbed the ladder of corporate America, she repeatedly observed a surprising phenomenon: the most successful people weren’t necessarily the ones with the highest IQ or best job skills. She recognized instead that career advancement was much more closely linked with how people applied their knowledge and talents — their capacity to collaborate, communicate, and influence others.

Today, Sara is happily fulfilling that commitment as a keynote speaker, author, and executive coach. These venues have given her the opportunity to mentor and support thousands of people in diverse situations, inspiring many of them to move from insight to action with dramatic career results.

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