Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! The past few months have been challenging for individuals and businesses alike. Not only are we facing difficult situations such as working with a remote workforce and planning for an unknown future, but we are also trying to adapt to never-ending changes in regulations and policies. In today’s episode, we’ll go over some of the key leadership skills that have been helping leaders navigate these unprecedented times.
Our businesses and our families are relying on us as leaders to navigate the choppy waters with resolve and strength. The kinds of changes that are being demanded today are disruptive and painful. We need visionaries with imagination and boldness to show us the way, even without a playbook. I have found that successful leaders are currency focusing on these three skills:
1. CHANGE MANAGEMENT
Many businesses are currently making daily changes to their policies and procedures to adapt to rapidly changing federal, state, and local requirements.
Leaders need to focus not only on what changes are being made but also how they are being communicated and reinforced.
Regardless of where you fall in the structure of your organization, you need to adapt to change with agility.
Q: Think about a decision that you did not agree with. How did your leader’s presentation of the change affect your willingness to comply? Is there anything that would have helped you understand and implement the change better? How would you score your ability to manage change through this adversity? What would you do if you were making a large change in your organization to ensure that people understand and follow through with the change?
When dealing with complex issues, leaders must adapt to an ongoing stream of new information.
You cannot afford to wait for the perfect information in order to start developing and executing plans. In times of crisis, leaders need to be more decisive than ever and embrace the here and now!
Prioritize what is important. Making a decision on an issue right away is more effective than adding it to a list of tasks you will deal with later.
A crisis isn’t always the best time for a leader to develop a quorum and be democratic.
Q: Why do you think leaders should listen to other people’s opinions? When is it better for a leader to be decisive and make a decision? Think of a time when you needed to make a difficult decision. How did you know you had enough information? Who helped support you or empower you during the decision-making process?
Foresight is not about predicting the future; it is about taking in all the available information so that you can anticipate challenges and avoid letting any situation overwhelm your organization.
Leaders cannot let their own biases (political, economic, operational, etc.) prevent them from looking at all angles of a situation.
Focus on helping your team anticipate challenges and think through potential alternatives. Encouraging people to come up with alternative viewpoints will help you make better decisions.
When you decide what to do, make sure that you articulate the rationale behind your actions. This will decrease employee anxiety.
Q: What does foresight mean to you? How can you be sure that your foresight is accurate enough to support your decision? What other leadership skills and attributes have made a positive impact during the COVID-19 pandemic that did not make my list?
Think about the many decisions that you have made since the start of the pandemic. Are there any decisions you would change with the knowledge that you currently have? Take some time to reflect on how you made that decision. Did you involve other people and allow them to offer differing opinions? Did you move too quickly or slowly to make a decision? Or did you make a good decision, but fail to cast vision to your team and implement it properly? It is possible that when you look back, you would change nothing! However, answering these questions will help you ensure that you are utilizing all of the skills in your leadership toolbox during these unprecedented times and point out any weak areas or blind spots.
How much information is “enough” information? How much information is “too much” information? Make a list of questions that need answers before you can make a business or leadership decision. Consider the following: What are the current legal regulations I need to follow? Do any company policies already cover how to address this situation? What physical/financial resources would I need to make a decision? How will my decision affect my employees financially, physically, emotionally, etc? What alternative perspectives Include any other questions you feel are important and make sure that you use that checklist anytime you feel uncertain of whether or not it is time to make a decision.
Do you tend to put off making decisions, or rush into them? What do you think causes you to respond the way you do? What negative consequences has your approach caused? If you tend to put off making decisions, make a rule to limit the number of decisions you can put off. For example, you might decide not to allow more than 3 decisions to remain your to-do list. IF you tend to rush into decisions, decide to get at least 2-3 differing opinions or perspectives before you make your decision.
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MAY 20, 2020