Since early March 2020, the world has undergone a scary and unprecedented change unlike anything most people have ever seen. COVID-19 has brought a wave of stress to everyone—male and female, young and old, rich and poor. The pandemic has forced us to adapt to a strange new lifestyle full of hand scrubbing, mask wearing, and social distancing.

At flightunit, we’ve always said that the world needs more leaders. And now, in the wake of COVID-19, we need leaders more than ever.

Here’s how to be a leader during COVID-19:

Set a Good Example

One of the best ways to be a leader is to set a good example. Follow the rules, be courteous to everyone you meet, and always work as hard as you can. If you set a good example, others will naturally follow.

Since the “rules” of the world have changed because of COVID-19, setting a good example involves some things you may not have thought of before:

  • Wear a mask as much as you can. If someone who is forgetful or neglectful simply sees you wearing one, they may just remember for next time. If you see someone without a mask who should be wearing one, don’t be afraid to speak up, but make sure to be polite!
  • Do your best to distance from everybody. If you’re on a collision-course in a tight area, stop and let the other person go with a friendly wave and nod.
  • Carry disinfecting wipes and use them on surfaces you’ve touched. If you’ve just piled your groceries onto the counter or entered your PIN on a payment machine, give it a wipe for the person behind you.
  • Offer (safe) help however you can. Right now, everyone is struggling in some way. Don’t hesitate to help anyone who needs it, as long as you can engage safely.

Whenever you go out in public, whether to shop for groceries or to visit a friend, constantly remind yourself to set a good example. Be a leader by acting in a safe and positive manner so that those around you will do the same.

Bring Positivity to Everyone (Including Yourself)

Optimism is an immensely powerful and often underrated tool. One of the best things that we can do during a time of crisis like COVID-19 is to stay positive.

To spread positivity to yourself, start every morning by making a short list of things that you’re grateful for. You can include everything from “your life” to “the delicious salad you’re going to have for dinner.” The focus on gratitude will remind you that life is valuable and to be positive about getting to live another beautiful day.

Next, plan out your activities for the day and explain to yourself exactly how and why you’re going to excel at them. The focus on your skills and specific activities will help you stay in the present and be more positive about the individual experiences that fill your beautiful day.

To spread positivity to others, try not to talk about the virus. Conversations that involve death tolls, vaccine wait-times, and infection numbers are sure to bring everyone down. Be a leader by keeping everyone’s mind off the pandemic and instead filling their heads with happy thoughts. Compliment their outfit, talk about the weather, play a game—whatever it takes to keep your family and your flightunit happy and motivated.

Encourage Others

A little encouragement can go a long way, especially during a time where everyone is feeling down.

Although COVID-19 is an immense challenge for everyone, the world is still pressing on. Kids still need to go to school and adults still need to work. Unfortunately, the thick raincloud that is the pandemic can make it hard to find the drive to get work done.

Be a leader by encouraging others to carry on and keep doing great things. Whether you’re with your family, your flightunit, or someone on the street who seems a little depressed, always look for ways to encourage people. Compliment your mom on how she was able to do all her reports from home in the same amount of time. Remind your friend that he has incredible artistic talent and that you can’t wait to see his next painting.

Who knows? Your encouragement might be exactly what someone needs to get through these tough times with a smile.

Communicate as Much as Possible

In life, communication is crucial. Now that COVID-19 has put a stop to most social interaction, communication is more important than ever.

Humans are social creatures. We use communication to exchange information, make each other laugh, help each other cope, relate to one another, and much more. Communication makes us all feel good. Talking to our friends and family is like nourishment for the mind and the soul. Be a leader by making sure that everyone in your social circle is getting that nourishment—communicate as much as possible.

Take some time to call your dad and ask him about his favorite show. Text your friends and let them know that if they need anything, you’ll be there for them. The simple act of checking in on someone to ask, “how’s it going?” can often make their entire day.

Be Honest and Clear

Right now, the world is full of confusion. People don’t know the nature of the virus, they don’t know whether they’ll be able to keep their job, and they don’t know when the pandemic is going to end.

Since COVID-19 is causing so much confusion, be a leader by being honest and clear with everyone that you deal with—create as little confusion as you can. Being honest and transparent is about making your own life and everyone else’s lives easier. If you’re straightforward with people, whether your mom, your sister, your best friend, or your boss, it will save everyone time and energy.

As humans, we need to be facing the world’s problems as a team (a team that you can lead!). Being honest and keeping everyone on the same page is the first step toward making that team strong. 

Leaders stare uncertainty in the face with confidence and act when nobody else will. Leaders inspire and encourage those around them to stay motivated and follow their dreams. Most importantly, leaders squash fear for themselves and others to make sure their team will be victorious in the face of any challenge.

Right now, there’s plenty of fear to go around. That’s why the world needs more leaders—to squash the fear of COVID-19 and make sure everyone stays happy, healthy, and motivated to take down the virus as a community.