Have you ever flipped through an old notebook to see what stands out years later? I did that the other day and found this gold nugget triple underlined. Bring The Calm. It was from a conference full of 1000+ project managers from all other the globe, and our keynote speaker, Sue Gardener, formerly of Wikipedia fame, laying out the most important things we do as project managers. In her list of actions, the one that stood out the most, was that it is our job to bring the calm to our teams. All I could think about was every action movie I’ve ever seen where a ridiculously brave and buff commando yells “bring the rain!” into the radio as he takes fire and barely stays alive while requesting a massive aerial bombardment of his enemy.
This simple bullet point of her presentation 4 years ago rings truer today than it ever have. “Bring the calm!” isn’t passive, or quiet or nice. It’s intense, it’s my job, my mission, my duty as a leader. Bringing the calm is a call to action for us leaders. It’s far too easy to get caught up in the chaos. Today, more than ever, my job as a leader is to cut through the noise and swirl of problems, break it all down, and get a plan to move forward. It’s about listening to the team, deflecting the constant attacks on their time and attention so they can do the brilliant work you know they can.
As a leader, there’s little I can do to return life to normal amidst the pandemic, but I am committing to bringing the calm for my team as we hold on to this wild ride that is 2020.