How many times have the most important items on your to-do list been pushed aside because something unexpected pops up out of nowhere to become the most urgent thing on the agenda?
It happens to all of us. And today more than ever we find ourselves in a near-constant state of reactivity.
Change is all around us and it is accelerating.
In today’s environment leaders must be prepared for disruption.
Two months ago, who would have thought something as omni-present as Twitter would ever go away? And yet in the last 3 weeks there’s been a lot of speculation about whether or not the platform is going to make it into the new year.
But that’s a topic for a future article.
Let’s be clear, change can be overwhelming for ourselves and our teams. Your job is to learn to lead differently, so that you minimize the chaos and overwhelm, and have greater resilience to successfully navigate the unknown.
What does leading well require in a never-normal environment?
- Resilience is Embedded in the Culture
In my research for the Resilience Ready book, I found that resilient organizations, teams, and leaders operate around five core principles – Perspective, Purpose, Perseverance, Partnership, and Praise. These principles are foundational to their culture and guide their approach to leading change.
- Adaptability is a Core Competency
Leaders must not only have the ability to adapt to change – they need to learn to adapt well. It’s not enough to adapt to what is coming at you. You must be aware of what is coming AND understand its impact. Be in control of your path forward instead of being in a constant reactive fire-fighting mode.
- People are Connected to the Purpose
One of the top reasons employees leave their jobs is because they don’t feel like they are doing meaningful work, or they don’t believe their organizations have a meaningful purpose. Someone once said that people quit their jobs long before they ever stop collecting a paycheck. Create the kind of work environment where people see themselves as part of the mission, feel that they have an important role to play, and want to contribute 100% of their efforts toward fulfilling the organization’s purpose.
When leaders learn to lead well, you have a real shot at stopping the revolving door of employees coming and going.
Here is a recent podcast where I go into a bit more detail on this topic.