Authentic Leadership in Action

“Authenticity requires us to slow down. Fast times require us to slow down. To be effective, we need to slow down our pace of thought and action and focus on managing our attention. To be authentic leaders we need to act from intention and choice rather than from habit or impulse.” -Henna Inam

In our recent post regarding COVID-19, we reminded leaders how important it is to stay true to their company’s core values during difficult times. It is easy to uphold values in the good times, but much more difficult, though much more meaningful, in tough times. A colleague and former CEO of mine, Arch Payne, read that post and subsequently sent me the communication from a local exterminator where he lives in Tucson, AZ. I felt that it was a great example of authentic leadership during a time of crisis.

Dear valued customers and friends,

This is not the newsletter I envisioned just a few weeks ago. Today I am worried for my family, my country, my business, my employees and their families. This virus will pass and I hope everyone survives, not only in health but also economically. There are seven families, including my own, that depend on Mr. Pack Rat financially. No matter how well things go, tough times are ahead.

At this time businesswise, I am not concerned about making a profit or even breaking even. I am not concerned about growing the business. I am concerned about all of my employees continuing to receive a regular paycheck they can depend on.

So today, I am asking for your support. Pack rats may be the last thing on your mind today, but if you have a need and the means please consider giving us a call.

At Mr. Pack Rat, we are fortunate that we can do all of our work without direct social contact. All of our employees know they can and need to stay home with pay if they or anyone in their household is sick. What they need is work to do. This week was like a giant switch was turned off and no one is calling. I understand why, but I want to let everyone know —We are open for business and deeply discounting our rates in an effort to maintain at least a minimal cash flow through this crisis.

May God bless you and all of us,
Mr. Pack Rat
Founder & Owner

This business owner did not hold back his emotions. He did not sugar-coat the situation in an effort to make people believe his business is thriving regardless of circumstances. Rather, readers can recognize his genuine fear and valid concerns. His words show wisdom, vulnerability, and an honest assessment of the pandemic and its impact on his business and the livelihood of his staff. He made it personal by talking about “families” in addition to “employees.” Finally, he was not afraid to make a humble request for support, which will most assuredly stick with his readers. Arch noted, “I really respected the tone and sincerity of what could have been a mundane solicitation. The next time I see a pack rat, he gets the call.”

If you have a leader you wish to highlight for their authentic leadership during this time, please email me and tell me about them. They could become our next focus on authentic leadership in difficult times and inspire us all!

“Authentic leadership is about leading from the core of who we are to inspire each of us to our best contribution toward a shared mission.” – Henna Inam

That’s our spark, what’s yours?