The current Crisis offers a true challenge for Leaders worldwide. Not only are they facing the challenges of managing people remotely and leading the business in times of uncertainty, but also having to overcome the stress of dealing with their own emotions and the emotions of others.
However, like any Crisis of this magnitude, these times offer major Leadership opportunities in terms of identifying and nurturing Emerging Talents and Skills.
A. Identifying and Nurturing Talents and Skills
The new unforeseen conditions managed to bring out the best or the worst in people we work with. Leaders must observe the changes in attitude, work ethics and personality arising from the natural mechanism of coping with current distressing events. Leadership is born in times of need. How much do you know about these new emerging changes? Are you equipped with the proper tools to assess the changes in Behaviors and the emerging Talents? Big organizations are taking the time right now to thoroughly assess and identify these assets that will prove beneficial for the organization in the future, if nurtured.
Leadership is born in times of need.
Have you been observing Resilience and Leadership in people you work with?
When you practice a fire drill you try to show “Good Behavior” in case an actual fire happens, but until that fire really happens you will not be able to witness the actual launching of the “fight or flight” system in people; you can now. We are in the eye of the Crisis and we are currently observing different behavioral changes, out of which some are worth nurturing. Now is the time to give special attention to these Emerging Talents. Here are some recommendations:
Open a more direct conversation about their Purpose
Be the Coach they need at the moment
Provide emotional support
Provide learning by offering reading suggestions, experience and academic/professional qualifications
B. Using assessment tools to understand Brain Preferences and Skills
Two important sets of assessments need to take place at the moment:
Behavioral tools will help you measure the progress of developed skills during tough times.
Brain Preferences tools will help you identify the factors that provide Motivation during tough times. These neuroscience-based assessments can also help you make the right performance expectations from people working outside their ordinary “social setting” office environment. For instance, I found the Emergenetics Profile to provide valuable information about individuals’ brain composition and what drives their thinking in times of Crisis.
Do you know who in your team has higher preference for individual vs. collective thinking? Do you know who is more productive working from home?
I am very happy to start a conversation with you to help you chose the proper tools to assess your teams while they are in isolation. This data will provide a bank of information that will be helpful in assessing and developing Talent, preparing it to handle future challenges.
Leaders are in the spotlight in times of Crisis. They provide Inspiration, Trust and Vision. What is your position at the moment? To show up well, you need to be well. How are you managing yourself during these times? Here are some recommendations on what to practice:
A. Trust and Develop your Emotional Intelligence
Abstract reasoning and IQ rely on data and logical analysis. In the absence of these in times of uncertainty, Emotional Intelligence helps leaders work with feelings and intuitions. These are very relevant at this stage of the Crisis. But how to build your EQ?
Self-Awareness: (How are you feeling right now?)
Take the time to reflect and answer this question and list the feelings you are experiencing. Feelings are more honest than thoughts. You need to acknowledge and accept them at this stage no matter what they are. So, start by writing down the feelings you have.
Self-control: (Are you getting carried away by these feelings?)
Although Self-Awareness is important, the danger lies in allowing ourselves to be driven by those feelings and not controlling them. Scientifically, the feeling you have when you are experiencing danger and move to “fight or flight” system, shuts down your cortex (the logical part of your brain) until you manage to control it and look into solutions. That is when you start exercising your Self-Control and reasoning. For you to start thinking of solutions, you need to accept what you feel, control it, and only then you can start seeing a reality that will help you move forward.
Social Awareness: (Are you aware of other people’s feelings?)
From your leadership position, are you in a place to help others? Have you engaged in meaningful conversations to truly identify the feelings of others in order to help them control these? The more this happens the faster they can be in that position to help you think and problem-solve. It is a two-fold challenge for Leadership to understand and control both their feelings and those of others. Everything happens through proper channels of Communication. Are people invited to share? Have you created a safe space for sharing?
Through Self-Awareness, Self-Control and Social Awareness you will be in a better position to inspire your relationships to move in the right direction. This will not solve the Crisis or provide immediate solutions but will help you create an environment around you where people trust, participate and support your new visions and directions.
Self-Management during times of Crisis requires you as a Leader to put people first, build personal connections, anticipate quickly and keep learning.
B. Recognize the impact of fatigue on your Decision-making
What science says is that our ability to make critical decisions deteriorates in quality after an extended period of uncertainty and stress. The image of the strong relentless Leader who is brave enough to face any complexities ends up having severe consequences on judgment, strategic thinking and decision making.
Remember to manage your energy and your resting times. People already know you do not have all the answers, so allow yourself to look vulnerable at times. It will relieve the stress of having to look invincible and eventually give you more space to think and decide.
C. Rethink the Strategies and Tactics: Reading Suggestions
Ray is a special guest speaker talking to us from Singapore where he is in lockdown. He has an impressive career and is a brilliant consultant. As a Harvard graduate, his career started in the military as he led an A-Team special force in the US army. His inspiring story starts with how his attempt to save his team’s lives by holding on to a detonating grenade resulted in losing his fingers. Ray was appointed by President Barack Obama as Assistant Minister and won the Harrison Schmitt Leadership Award.
Ray’s intervention started by sharing his story and reminding the audience of the importance of being vulnerable and asking for help during these times. He then shed the light on how we can help team members take care of themselves. He confirmed that it is possible to develop people while they are working from home.
This brings us again to the point of how important it is to take care of ourselves first before helping others. That is what we are reminded of before take-off on a flight.
The concept of Resilience was then discussed and the meaning of bouncing back, harboring the right mental and emotional energy and building trust and support.
Ray talked about self-awareness and awareness of others which fall under Emotional Intelligence.
His most important advice for Leaders is “Keep Communicating”. Ray then referred to the book the How of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky and the 5 pillars of Happiness: Gratitude, Fitness, Service to Others, Having a Purpose and Setting a Goal.
The concept of learning about your own Purpose as a person and the Purpose of your organization must be studied.
Are you clear about your Purpose and the Purpose of Your Organization?
Ray’s last words were: be reliable and hold two realities at the same time (accept the facts, and offer a sense of Purpose and Possibility).
Please visit rayjefferson.com for more information about how Ray can help you and your business pass this Crisis successfully.
Questions You’ve Asked
Questions asked this week:
Rabih Kfoury: What answers for shareholders should we give when they are afraid from losing money and want to resize the company?
Answer: Rabih this is a very important question. The answer starts by a reflection on accepting the idea that resizing can sometimes be the best available option. That is if the financial study has been done properly. You need to look at the situation from a 360 degrees perspective. On one side, employees are assets. Not only have you invested in them and losing them is a big loss of assets, but there’s also the opportunity cost of having to train new employees after resuming the business and the risks this might carry. A balance needs to be made. In both cases there is a trade-off. You also need to look at the financial situation of the company, mainly the cashflow. Companies today, although they are suffering lower costs of running a physical operation, they are also struggling with sales and collections. This is severely affecting cash flows and might lead to shareholders having to reinject capital at this stage. It is up to shareholders to calculate their own risk and make decisions on the best investment avenues. The market right now offers great investment opportunities, such as in trade, commodities and real estate acquisition and a lot of investors are making ventures in those areas. This is part of a great adaptation mindset found in successful investors. This might lead sometimes to decisions to invest less in a less promising business and more in emerging opportunities.
Try to have a conversation with shareholders to understand the rationale behind the decision to resize. Be objective and see facts from both sides: the importance of preserving existing skills in the company as well as the empathy towards shareholders and their investment interest.
Misslimitless: What are the 5 tools of Happiness?
Answer:Ray referred to the book “The How of Happiness” (http://sonjalyubomirsky.com/) and the 5 main pillars of Happiness: Gratitude, Fitness, Service to Others, Having a Purpose and Setting a Goal. We all try to find our Happiness in difference places. Some even argue that Happiness is the Purpose of Life. And if you think about it, we have a lot to be happy for right now. We survived a once in a century Crisis. We got to live an experience that will be in history books. We have more time for our wellbeing and appreciate simpler things in life. How great is it to wake up every morning with less worries; Not worrying about what to wear or what car to buy and where to party on Saturday night. Our needs have changed and with simplicity comes greater happiness – Inner happiness that we have lost through our busy lives. If you made the right reflection during these times and took care of your physical and emotional self, you will feel increasingly better. What is coming is only positive. We are in the best possible position we can be. Everything’s up from here and life is now more positive. Exciting times!
Your participation and feedback are helping us improve these webinars and provide more value to you. I am available for private conversations on how we can support you and your teams during this Crisis. You can reach me at: email@example.com.
Looking forward to seeing you next week!
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