We all learned the phrase “test positive” in 2020, and it never brought good news.
2021 begins with hope that vaccines will reach enough people to generate herd immunity and return our lost freedoms. But it will take some time. Lockdowns will continue to take their toll on all of us.
I have noticed that one such toll is a slow creeping lockdown on people’s sense of possibility. We all have experienced losses big and small. The gradual accumulation of loss drags down hope and aspirations; we get smaller.
We need a better strategy for living in this pandemic. We need a strategy that flips loss to growth while acknowledging the realities of the pandemic. We will get through this pandemic, but waiting for governments to get their act together, waiting for vaccine availability and then waiting until your name is called to get poked is no way to live life.
Buddha reminds us that there “is no waiting”.
It’s time to flip what “test positive” means for us. It’s time to test positive for leadership. It’s time to use this pandemic as the fulcrum to raise a hand and lead. Leading cannot remain the province of people in positions of institutional authority and rank.
We have barely begun 2021. The moment is fresh with possibility.
What is possible for you? Where do you dare raise your hand and choose to lead? What is essential for you to bring into the world in the middle of a pandemic? What movement needs your voice and expertise?
The path forward:
- Answer the questions above.
- Turn your purpose into a movement.
- View your movement as evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
- Start with small changes. Small changes are concrete, realizable and immediate.
- Understand the measure of success is progress through process.
- Swap out hope for grit and perspiration.
- Find allies and partners, then share.
- Be relentless for feedback. There is no high performance without feedback.
Most all social change movements have begun at the margins. Think MLK, Mandela, Havel, Greta Thunberg, Josha Wong and, most recently, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya.
Why not you? Why not now? Raise your hand. Test positive for leadership.