In a historic vote, President Donald Trump became only the third president since the founding of the United States to be impeached by the House of Representatives.
For months leading up to the vote, the Republican and Democratic parties have struggled to lead together and find clarity as a whole. The impeachment trial has caused confusion and chaos among the White House, the 2020 presidential election, and our nation.
Earlier in the week, in a 6-page letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Trump expressed his protest against the impeachment crusade led by the Democrats in the House. While concluding the letter, Trump wrote: “It is time for you and the highly partisan Democrats in Congress to immediately cease this impeachment fantasy and get back to work for the American People.” Regardless of opposition, Trump has continued to lead in the midst of uncertainty.
For every leader, there will be delays or derailments that threaten to take them off of the path for a season. For our country, this season has certainly been longer than the expected deviation from business as usual. As the articles of impeachment will likely move to the Senate for a trial in the new year, it has not only felt like a derailment for our nation but surely for our leader.
This season represents the height of what it means to lead in the midst of uncertainty.
While I would never wish it on anyone, the truth is most leaders will face seasons of uncertainty during their leadership.
You may not be facing an impeachment trial, but there will be moments where your leadership will be questioned. With that questioning comes a host of emotions, and often in these seasons, we are faced with our internal doubts and insecurities. Strong leaders are those who learn how to continue guiding their organizations in the midst of the storm of emotions — both from outside and within.
Here are some key points that can carry you through the fog of uncertainty, and bring you to a clearer and stronger leadership.
Seek a solid mentor and meet with him or her regularly. While it is vital to have a mentor in your life at all times, for your leadership and life as well, it is essential to utilize a mentor within this season. This should be an individual you can freely confide your fears, concerns and hopes in. Ideally, it should be someone in your realm of work or leadership who can lead you in a season where you may be struggling to lead yourself.
Give your team the time to speak. As tensions arise, rather than keeping your head down and pushing through, pay attention to those around you. Listen to the concerns and frustrations that your team is currently facing. They may share the same concerns as you, but regardless of what the future may hold, your team is still looking to you to lead the way. Even in times of uncertainty, it is your job to bring your team assurance, clarity and hope.
Continue to make time for the important relationships in your life. Allow family, friends, and loved ones to speak into this season of your life. Although it may be more hectic and busy than usual, continue to allow time for those who mean the most to you. These relationships can be a lifeline to you in the midst of the confusion.
Keep your mind on the bigger picture. There will be plenty of distractions during this time. Even though the vision may feel derailed and forgotten, don’t allow your mind to shift from the overall mission. Regardless of the many voices and opinions at hand, do not shift your eyes from the big picture and the purpose of your leadership.
Leading through uncertainty will be one of the most difficult things you may do as a leader.
Our president certainly is now confronted with the challenge of guiding our country in the face of a targeted campaign to delegitimize his leadership. The only way to get through this kind of season is to do the best you can with what is right in front of you.
Our president should continue on his mission of shaping and improving the American way of life, recognizing that history will not remember him for the opposition he faced, but what he was able to accomplish in spite of that opposition.
Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the President of Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, and is the author of "Framework Leadership." A champion of innovative educational design, Ingle is the president of one of the fastest growing private universities in the nation. As president, Ingle founded the American Center for Political Leadership at the university and is also a founding member of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. Before becoming Southeastern’s president in 2011, Ingle held leadership positions in higher education and the nonprofit sector in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Seattle. Ingle is the author of several leadership books and the creator of the Framework Leadership podcast. He currently serves on the board of the Florida Chamber of Commerce Foundation. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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