Leading through uncertainty is the challenge of our times for leaders. It’s times like this that we all look to our leaders to restore certainty, to bring back equilibrium, stability and normality. We see their role as seeking out the facts, discovering the truth and taking action to make things happen. But that was before COVID-19 imposed itself upon us.
Because of the threat to many parts of our lives, especially our health, leaders have had to make decisions quickly and more often than not the information they needed to make those decisions was not there. They have had to act with the most current information and facts at hand only to discover later that there was information and facts they didn’t have at the time. If they had had them they would have made a different decision. They have then found themselves having to say something like: “In retrospect I would have made a different decision” or “In retrospect I could have handled this differently.”Read More
In the unpredictable, uncertain and changing times, even before COVID-19, being proactive was a most significant and important skill for all of us, especially for leaders. I’ve always called on people to be proactive. I’ve always believed it was a matter of mindset. By changing your thoughts you could change your behaviour. It was a shift that was possible if you developed some self-awareness of what was happening within you. You could see the considerable benefits of being proactive as compared with being reactive.
Yet here we are now caught in this unprecedented reality of the COVID-19 pandemic that I feel challenges those beliefs.Read More
How our lives have been turned upside down in a very short period of time! In fact, as I write this today, we can expect that tomorrow more change will envelop us that we can’t even foreshadow right now. As for next week and the week after that…….. that is so unforeseeable.
As I have already said in an earlier article, we have lost control of most of the parts of our life that gave us a sense of security and stability. We have to take back control over what we can control. That is not just our physical reality but also our emotional lives.
Tony Schwartz and Emily Pines, in an article titled “Coping with Fatigue, Fear and Panic During a Crisis”, called on us to move out of our Overwhelmed and Survival Self and into our Adult Self as the way to take back control in this challenging time.Read More
Last week I told the story of Mark the highly skilled technical expert who was promoted to management but couldn’t manage his people. What happened next was the organisation’s worst nightmare.
This was a blog post I wrote back in 2016. I recalled it when I recently had a CEO come to me to talk about a Mark in his organisation. I’m not going to detail exactly what we talked about for his Mark, but as this is a very common issue, I am going to give you some approaches for how to handle this kind of situation if you are a CEO or leader in your organisation.Read More
Every leader wants a team of high performing professionals in their organisation. How you achieve that is the big question. I’ve written previously about what I consider are the three big motivators – Engage, Empower and Elevate that will see you achieving that.
There are also many other skills that can enhance your leadership. I have selected six that when developed and enhanced are the ones that I believe will bring the most significant outcomes. Those of you who know my work will know that my focus is on the soft skills needed for leadership.
Stress creeps up on us. We often know we are approaching overwhelm, but we are highly competent professionals and we tell ourselves we can work through it. “As soon as I complete this project things will get better”. “I have holidays coming up in 2 months time. I can get through to then.” “I wanted this job so much I can’t let them know that I’m almost at breaking point.” We don’t believe we have any other choice but to keeping working at this level of stress.
But……if we don’t take control of our stress it will take control of us. The least damaging result is that we break down in tears one day at work, or collapse momentarily from exhaustion and have to go home. The worst outcome is we have a heart attack or stroke. That’s the ultimate act of stress taking control of us.Read More
It’s a new year, a new beginning. You hopefully have had at least a short break. You should be refreshed, but are you recharged – recharged physically with loads of energy and recharged emotionally with a positive and pro-active mindset. If you aren’t then I’m writing for you because the most detrimental…Read More
While reading the Melbourne Age online this morning, I see a Liberal National Party Staffer has been put on “indefinite leave” for texting an expletive-laden tirade to a female journalist who recently criticised a federal MP Senator Barry O’Sullivan. In responding the Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack stated it was sent “accidentally and inadvertently” to the reporter when it was actually intended for a friend. While the staffer has apologised, what has been said cannot be erased.
How often do we see this today? Angry, overwrought, stressed and highly emotional people resorting on the spur of the moment to vent their feelings, generally apologising sometime later. But what has been said in haste cannot be taken back.
We constantly hear stories like the one above. People in organisations brawling back and forth by email. Again too often in their highly emotional, non-rational state, accidentally sending it to the wrong person, then it circulating around the building, becoming the latest reality show in the building.
We can change this. We can learn to respond in professional ways. The recent research into the brain and how it manages our emotions tells us how.
It is only when you get out of your comfort zone that you discover talents you never knew you had.
I have lost count of the number of people I have coached or mentored who knew it was time for a change in their career or professional life but just haven’t been able to make the move.
They are comfortable where they are. They are well-regarded, respected and have been told they are a valuable member of the team. As well, they have a supportive family, a beautiful house and a great circle of friends.
They ask themselves every time these restless feelings have emerged in the last few years why they would want to risk all that. Why would they do anything else or go anywhere else?
Joseph Campbell said: “We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us”.
Today is the last day of 2017 – another year is drawing to a close. While you will have no time to think today, I’m going to suggest that you find some time to reflect on some important questions before you go back to work and launch into the new year. They are all questions that cause you to reflect on what changes you have made in your life this year. Or did you set goals and then not follow through and end up a photocopy of your 2016 self?
If you had a successful year know what made it so and make sure you repeat that this new year. If you had a disappointing year, discover why and make sure you don’t repeat those mistakes in 2018.