Butterfly Effect: Leading with Resiliency: NGLCC’s Takeaways

| By Kaela Roeder

Resiliency is an increasingly relevant term amidst these uncertain times. Michele Wierzgac, keynote speaker and author; and Jenn T. Grace, founder and CEO of Publish Your Purpose Press, presented “The Butterfly Effect: Leading with Resiliency” to the the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) for the Webinar Wednesday series.

The duo provided their insight and tips on how to remain resilient during the coronavirus, and Wierzgac and Grace discussed how to remain positive, calm and collected once the quarantine is lifted.

“To be resilient is not a nice skill to have, but a must-have for leaders,” said Wierzgac. In a world of changing businesses, bosses, rules and pandemics, the basic principles of resilience are critical for operating in a whirlwind of change.

The NGLCC was inspired by Wierzgac and Grace’s presentation, and we have highlighted the key takeaways that all businesses can use during these trying times.

  1. What does resiliency look like?

Before we spotlight the essential actions a resilient leader must take during these uncertain times, it is important to define resiliency.

Wierzgac described resilience as the ability to adjust to misfortune or change and how one recovers from the stress caused by immense change.

“We have been going through many changes in the last two months, and we are going to face more as we begin to enter back into the workforce and into our businesses,” said Wierzgac. It is how we react to these changes that defines our resiliency.

  1. A resilient leader helps others

People have different reactions to change, and as a resilient leader, it is essential to recognize, understand and accept these actions in a genuine way.

In order to understand people’s reactions to change, you need to ask strategic questions such as “what do you want to accomplish in this moment?” it is essential to uncover the ways people are feeling in this chaotic time to be an effective leader.

A resilient leader is also clear with their team about your plans for your business or organization. Clarity removes chaos from the situation, and can help to put your employees and business team at ease.

  1. People will come to terms with situations at different rates

Everyone goes through stages of acceptance at different rates. A resilient leader recognizes this, and meets each employer where they are.

An effective leader also accepts what changes they can control: their personal reactions and emotions, and the changes in their organization.

  1. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses and work on self-empowerment

As a leader, it is essential to know your strengths and lean on your them while working to improve your weaknesses.

Similar to the stages of acceptance, everyone will be at different levels of self empowerment during this time, as well. It is important for a resilient and effective leader to know where you are on the scale, and also recognize where others around you are on the scale.

By knowing where your employers are, you can help them get to the “Yes, I Did It!” stage by providing resources and other tools to cope.

  1. Optimism is key: change is not always negative

Wierzgac recalled the famous phrase “This too shall pass,” and encouraged the audience to look at the potential opportunities that have emerged from the coronavirus, rather than the negative aspects.

Wierzgac and Grace recalled that they used to deal with change by “kicking and screaming.” Now, the two expressed that with practice and experience, they have both learned to accept situations as they are.

“When you are kicking and screaming, you miss the opportunities of the new situation,” said Wierzgac.

While this period of time may be distressing, you can take this time to learn new skills, such as social media marketing or digital meeting programs like Zoom.

“It’s easy to get down in the dumps,” said Wierzgac. But, a resilient leader moves past this negativity and tries to move forward despite the chaos, she added. 

To learn more about Wierzgac, make sure to visit their website by clicking here.

To learn more about Grace and Publish Your Purpose Press, make sure to visit their website by clicking here.

Stay tuned for our future Webinar Wednesdays programming, and learn more about the series by visiting our page here.

For additional ways to help you, your business, and the LGBT community during this time, visit the NGLCC COVID-19 Resource Hub for the LGBT Business Community.