The stories people share of our leadership right now will continue to be shared around tables for a long time to come.
Over the last few weeks I've had the privilege of working a number of leadership groups as they steady themselves through an amazing rollercoaster time and look to the future. The stories of how they, with their teams have made swift and massive shifts always come with wonderful examples of leaders connecting, supporting and strategically leading. The whole of society is learning so much about how we individually deal with immense pressure and need for quick action and 'building the plane as it's flying'.
Here are the two scenarios (in no particular order - there's a hint):
1. No acknowledgement from leaders as to the challenges people are dealing with at home, including children at-home learning, compromised immune systems and general stress and anxiety.
2. Little interaction from senior management in how to deal with the challenges of the new situation
3. No external display of support and compassion for the tough times for either the team or the clients
4. A requirement that all normally expected outcomes will be met during this time (!)
5. No regular check-ins or connection from the senior leader to team members
6. No special professional learning put in place to help people cope more effectively
How does my friend feel? Disconnected, unseen, undervalued, burnt out, angry, untrusted and untrusting.
1. Planning from the outset as to how the pandemic would not only affect those they serve but also the workers
2. Twice weekly online forums with an open invitation to all
3. Executive present at both forums to answer questions
4. Feedback loops so that unanswered questions are responded to
5. Next-level leaders maintaining high levels of communication with their teams