How to be a leader during turbulent times

written by Erica Quam

Now, more than ever, the work you do as a coach is important. You help your athletes develop character and live by values that are constantly being tested by society right now. Staying aligned with those values can be a struggle. 

How do we step up and lead after coming face to face with trauma, change, or disappointment?How do we show up as strong leaders in the face of turbulent times?

Allow yourself time to process difficult emotions:

  • Feel what you need to feel
  • Allow your emotions to happen
  • Don't ignore or shove them down

Give yourself time where you can process and feel.

Notice what worries or fears come up:

  • Don’t try to change or fix the fear
  • Be with it, rather than get frantic about it
  • Instead of hiding, binging, or disappearing...simply observe yourself and what comes up

Fears and worries are in the future. They may happen or they may not. We've all lived through situations we don't like. The more we acknowledge fear the less it will control us.

Observe where you are aggressive:

  • Who or what are you blaming?
  • Where are you judging?
  • When are you passive-aggressive?

It's not about being perfect. It's not about trying NOT to do these things. This is human! What's important is the awareness and the observation. If you can name it, it loses some of it's power.

Consider asking yourself, "how long will I allow myself to be in this place?" 

Give yourself a deadline. 

It doesn't mean you will magically come out and be happy. It doesn't mean you will accept things. It just gives your brain a deadline to move forward.

Now more than ever be vigilant of your own self care.

  • Do things you love to do and bring you delight.
  • Eat foods that nourish your body and soul. 
  • Take time to be grateful for the world and people around you 
  • Take time to be quiet and still - meditate or do yoga

Don’t let the clutches of the media into your sacred space. Protect your confidence. Step away from the mainstream madness. Step back from the craziness. You have people out there who count on you. You have to take care of yourself first.

Over the next few months continue these observations. 

This is the core of what you do as a leader. Look for ways to develop more awareness and less judgement. Identify where you are grasping or grabbing for something outside of you to be the quick fix. 

Observe where you’re tempted to disappear and vanish. Sometimes we check out by getting really, really busy. When you notice that, challenge yourself to reach out and connect instead of hide.

This isn't a small task. We all have a choice right now. We can call people out when we see racism, bigotry, and hate. We can teach our athletes to do the same. This isn’t about heading out into the world with our elbows out. This is about being present and being grounded moment by moment. It’s about awareness.

Doing what you do is a call to be present - now, more than ever.