As leaders, it can be difficult to stay in the moment. With goals to reach, visions to carry out and an ever-changing business landscape to keep up with, there’s hardly ever time to focus on the present. We can often become focused on what’s coming next, concerned about what could go wrong or find ourselves stuck in the past, regretting mistakes we made or missing how things were done before.
While planning for the future and considering where we’ve come from is necessary and healthy, it can cause us to miss the present. Your team needs you to be with them in the now: hearing their thoughts, understanding their concerns and helping them succeed. Living each moment to the fullest will also help you feel more on top of things, less stressed and less worried for what’s ahead.
Here are five ways to be present in your leadership.
1. Practice forgiveness.
You may find yourself feeling ashamed about your past failures or having a hard time trusting others after they let you down. Fixating on what went wrong will not only cause you to feel guilt and resentment, but it will also create divisions between you and your team. Instead, give yourself and your team grace, remembering that nobody is perfect and that everyone makes mistakes, then move forward together.
2. Be grateful for what you have.
You may find it difficult to appreciate where you are now. You may find yourself missing how things used to be or be frustrated that you haven’t yet reached your goals. Take time to recognize how far you have come in your leadership and acknowledge what you appreciate about where you are now. Then, thank your team for their hard work. Remember all you have accomplished together, and allow yourselves to be encouraged and hopeful for what’s to come.
3. Don’t try to predict the future.
As leaders, part of our job is to provide direction and make plans to help reach our vision. We also have a responsibility to be aware of what’s going on around us and to be prepared for potential trouble spots. However, it can be easy to feel like we have everything figured out or be afraid of what could happen if we don’t.
Remember that not everything will go according to plan. No matter how much you prepare, circumstances may still change or go wrong. Trust yourself and your team to handle problems as they arise and to handle the changes as they come. It’s not up to just you to have everything sorted out now.
4. Take daily steps towards your goals.
Understanding your vision and setting goals is an important part of your responsibility as a leader. However, it can feel easy to get lost in the planning stages or lose sight of the bigger picture. Instead, set goals for the future, then make a plan for how you and your team can get there. Invite them into the process. Structure your projects, tasks and meetings around reaching those objectives and take steps to make that vision a reality.
5. Regularly check in with your team.
While it may be easy to get caught up in making plans and changes on a larger scale, remember that your team takes the steps and experiences those changes firsthand. Make it a practice to regularly check in with your team. Ask how they’re doing, how they’re feeling about the current projects or what concerns they may have. They may have valuable insights, concerns or thoughts on what can be done better.
In order to be present in your leadership, you need to involve your team. Being present with your team will show you how to best care for them and keep your vision in focus. It will also help you to take things one day at a time and feel less worried about the future, knowing you have your team by your side.