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Responding to Unanticipated Events

This has certainly been an interesting time. Coronavirus, stock market roller coaster, full moon, time change, and Friday the 13th...these are all events that impact our work setting in some way. The coronavirus as an event has global, national, local, and work setting implications. It is an event that wasn’t on our calendar or something we were anticipating. The stock market roller coaster is an example of how an event can turn a day upside down, even if just momentarily. Ask any classroom teacher, and they can tell you that Friday the 13th, plus a full moon and a time change can make a fun day! As leaders, we must be prepared for those unanticipated events, regardless of their gravity.

In our day-to-day work, we have our job duties, tasks, and a roadmap. Sometimes, though, events alter those roadmaps, and a proactive leader is ready and prepared to navigate the situation. Clear communication, education, creating awareness, presenting confidence, and continued analysis of the needs and supports required are essential. It is important to create a calm environment while demonstrating a sense of confidence and direction. It is just as important to helping staff continue to do their work to the best of their abilities. Equally important is for leaders to coordinate and share as a team. To be present for each other and share expertise, resources and ideas. A cohesive team responds to unanticipated events together to build strength. 

Events pass and routines return. When the routine returns, leaders recognize the importance of taking a deep breath and reflecting on the experience to build learning. And, then they return to leading while keeping a watchful eye out for the next event because effective leaders know that regardless of the road map, detours happen.

Events happen. Leaders recognize, act, and support. Leaders lead.

By Cathy Jones-Parks