Dear Christian Radio,
In her book “Forged in Crisis”, Dr. Nancy Koehn writes an amazing story of Abraham Lincoln.
She writes, ““As Lincoln explained to a senator who reproached him for telling a funny story right after the Seven Days’ Battles: ‘Senator, do you think that this situation weighs more heavily upon you than it does upon me? If the cause goes against us, not only will the country be lost, but I shall be disgraced to all time. But what would happen if I appeared upon the streets of Washington today with such a countenance as yours? The news would spread throughout the country that the President’s very demeanor is an admission that defeat is inevitable.”
Dear Leader, you must walk the halls and be positive.
Be honest about the circumstances but be hopeful about the plan to win the future.
A sneeze of doubt by the leader can become the flu of defeat for a team.
Lincoln knew the reality.
He was quite aware of the issues facing the nation.
He was quietly checking books out of the Library of Congress on military strategy so he could better understand how to coach and inspire his generals.
Lincoln projected calm confidence.
He needed the country to believe they had a future.
How do you do this practically?
In private conversations with your direct reports, listen carefully to their concerns. Ask for solutions. Put plans in place to course correct.
Be as concerned as they are.
Publicly – connect the actions you are taking to a brighter future.
Help the team believe they can achieve the goals that are before them.
Never leave your office or enter the building until you have your “game face” on.
Allow me to be honest.
I struggle with this.
I’m either celebrating the future or near depression over the fact the organization isn’t perfect.
I rarely live in the happy tension of both.
Embrace the struggle.
Bounce between hope and despair.
Just know…that’s the norm.
Remember what Lincoln said to the Senator, “What would happen if I appeared upon the streets of Washington today with such a countenance as yours? The news would spread throughout the country that the President’s very demeanor is an admission that defeat is inevitable.”
Allow me to give one very practical application.
It’s fundraising time.
Be Like Lincoln.
If you’re having a few hours or a day when it isn’t going great, walk the halls with a smile, a story and hope.
You’re the barometer of hope for the team.
If you walk the halls full of doubt and complaints, your team will be defeated.
Beyond that, your listeners will hear it in the voices of your hosts.
Leaders…your teams are watching.
Never cover up the problems.
Lead with hope.
Lead with boldness.
Lead from reality to a better future.
That’s #ENCW Leadership.
Brian is the Executive Vice President of Positive Alternative Radio in Blacksburg. PAR has five brands which include Spirit FM in Lynchburg, VA; WCQR in Kingsport, TN; Positive Hits, WPER in Richmond/Fredericksburg, VA; Joy FM in Winston Salem, NC; Walk FM in Ashland, KY, Huntington,WV. Contact Brian at [email protected]