Back to Leadership Basics in This Time of Danger

Back to Leadership Basics in This Time of Danger

March 23, 2020 News

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I have always written R2L for “everyday leaders,” because the functions of leadership can be served by anyone. You can lead up or across, as well as “down.” And you can lead in classes, neighborhoods and homes, as well as in business.

Today, I share some thoughts I shared over the weekend with a handful of my LX2 (Leading by Two) clients who are running organizations.  I believe they are relevant for churches, homes, schools, etc.  They are relevant in relationships, too.  They just take a little adapting.  My clients are much smarter than I, and face greater urgency in this moment. Nevertheless, I suggested keeping these three basics in mind:

  1. In the Harvard Bus Rev, John Kotter famously said about change efforts, “overcommunicate the vision by a factor of 10.”  Groups abhor information vacuums and fill them with junk, fear and lies.  So, remind them:
    1. Where we will keep going in the long run (vision)
    2. How we will make decisions, especially in hard times like these (values)
    3. What sacrifices you may be making (up to you, but hugely important in these times). Here’s a list of CEO’s sacrifices if you want to compare 🙂.
    4. If/how your people and you can do some good somehow, e.g., for the aged, for customers or even for those on your team who may be RIF’ed.
  2. Scenario plan:  Look at various time frames.  If shelter-in-place goes national and lasts through 2020, shelter-in-place lasts through summer; shelter in place lifts by summer???  What changes are key in those situations?
  3. SWOT:  This classic analysis has never been more important:
    1. Strengths of your organization:  important for strengthening morale and for looking at c., below, e.g., who are your big-picture thinkers who can help see opportunity, what connections do you have that you’ll need to reinforce, what do you do that you need to keep on doing?
    2. Weaknesses:  where do you need to address existing problems that could really hurt you in these times
    3. Opportunities:  what’s happening out there that you can position yourself to help with? In times of disruption, opportunities arise. We had all adapted to all kinds of things. Sometimes the adaptations were not so great (like moving so much manufacturing offshore or polluting the air through unnecessary travel, or not eating together as a family). So, out of disruption opportunities abound.  Look for them!
    4. Threats:  what are the biggest dangers out there for your people and your business? The virus itself; contracting budgets, losing work, your loved ones at risk, etc.  What do you need to focus on . . . even, or especially because it’s scary?!

I wish you strength and hope as you

Lead with your best self.

About the author

Dan Mulhern: Dan Mulhern is a nationally recognized expert in the fields of leadership and organizational culture.

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