It can be daunting to be suddenly thrust into a leadership position.
As you work to figure out what to do next, it can feel like someone turned the lights off on you as you look for clues for your next move. There may be a feeling of disorientation and an overwhelming sense of being alone as the darkness slams into you. Panic may be one of the first reactions as your heart starts beating faster and your arms stretch out around you to find something familiar.
What just happened?
Why did this happen?
Where am I now?
It’s ok, take a deep breath.
Your mind suddenly opens as it reaches out to find anything to hold on to, if just for a moment. Memories may fly by as your mind works to find a a sense of something that it knows.
Depending on where you’ve been or what you’ve done, it may feel like this:
Have you ever been called on in class and you didn’t expect it? The teacher expects an answer and the rest of the class is looking to see if you are going to get that answer correct or not. If you haven’t been paying attention, then it might seem as though your world is about to come to an end. What will people think if I fail? What if I don’t get the answer correct? When you get called upon, all of the attention in the class shifts directly to you.
The first time you get caught off guard and you don’t have an answer may be burned into your mind. For some, it may take this happening multiple times throughout school or in your job to realize that it pays to be ready and become more familiar of our surroundings when the lights go out.
Being a leader is about figuring out what to do next, often in the moment, and it can feel like the you are working in the dark. However, by keeping your eyes open and actively participating in what’s going on around you, one can be in a better position to respond to sudden shifts in responsibility.