The Impact of the Recession on the Job Market

Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we strive to bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

This week’s article is written by Evan Sohn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Recruiter.comIt is a companion piece to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Hiring for Keeps:  The Rise of Recruiter.com which aired on August 9, 2022. 

Short clip from the interview:

 Link to the entire interview:

In 2019 the average cost to hire an employee was $4,129. In 2021 it was $4,425. Based on the BLS data the total cost to hire employees in 2019 was on average $24B per month. Given increased employee churn from the great resignation and the job hopper economy (which we are now calling “job mobility”), the May 2022 cost to hire was $4.6B more than the 2019 avg cost to hire. So far, the US Economy has spent over $25B more than in 2019 on hiring. We predicted in December 2021 that it would exceed $50B (over 2019 spend) and so far, we are tracking. (Note the avg cost to hire an executive is $14,936 so it is an even higher cost).

I saw this article about a survey from PwC and I could not believe it as it reported that despite a looming recession that 20% of their surveyed folks were planning to quit in 2022. Now keep in mind that the annual voluntary churn in the US was already around 20% but it ranges pre-pandemic from 12% in financial services to 80% in hospitality and retail. So 20% doesn’t really sound off any alarms to those who know the numbers but, it does show that job mobility might not be a deterrent with a recession.

We also keep hearing about “tech layoffs” almost on a daily basis. The Recruiter Index does show recruiting in the IT Sector to be as strong as May but flat in terms of Month over Month tracking.

It was our opinion that many of these layoffs were in fact a result of the over-hiring of employees that we reported on CNBC earlier in the year. The high-quality developers are still in demand and are fetching very high salaries.

We actually launched a new initiative to help companies build their OWN development teams outside of the US (mostly in LATAM). We are seeing a desire for US companies to invest in their own teams (as opposed to outsourced development organizations) but locate these folks (remote) in near-shore regions like LATAM. We are doing this without any placement fees. This is ideal for startups and high-growth companies seeking to hire awesome developer talent without the higher cost of today’s US software engineers or the markup of outsourced development companies.

So assuming there is a recession and it does not impact the job mobility of today’s employees what could you do about it? Here is a great article on the ways to retain your talent during these “interesting” times…and it is not just paying more money.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Evan is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Recruiter.com, an on-demand recruiting platform that combines AI and video job-matching technology with the world’s largest network of small and independent recruiters.

RESOURCES:

Ready to measure your leadership skills? Here is a free assessment provided by the Innovative Leadership Institute that will measure the 7 leadership skills required to succeed during disruption and innovation. Click HERE

If you completed the Leadership Mindset Assessment and want to explore additional resources to develop your leadership, we recommend you:

  1. Read the Forbes article Are You A Future-Ready Leader– free
  2. Purchase the short video course, Leading during Disruption, for $29
  3. Purchase a comprehensive online course ILI Leadership Mindset Program for $174.99
  4. Purchase a comprehensive leadership development program – see options in the Innovative Leadership Course Library

Deeper Waters: 9-month intensive cohort experience linking leadership development with personal and spiritual work hosted by ILI Certified Facilitators: April Blaine and Dan Mushalko.

Are you ready to shift your career into high gear? Check out the Career Winners Circle’s epic free challenge:  Affiliate Challenge link 

Read our article published by Cutter.com Innovative Leadership: Leading Post-Pandemic & Beyond

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future via iTunesTuneInStitcherSpotify,  Amazon Music,  AudibleiHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

Innovative Leadership: Moving Beyond Resilience To Antifragility

Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we strive to bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

This week’s interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future is titled Recession Prep 101:  Planning Is Everything.  The interview is with Greg Moran, a C-level digital, strategy, and change leadership executive with extensive global operations experience.

Short clip from the interview:

 Link to the entire interview:

 

 

This week’s article is written by Christoper Washington, a learning ecosystem designer who serves as Executive Vice President and Provost of Franklin University

Over the past two years, the destabilizing effects of the pandemic and other socio-economic, geopolitical and technological headwinds have made it difficult to harmonize plans, infrastructure, resources and programs with the changing needs of stakeholders. Changing stakeholder needs and differences in leaders’ responses to disruptive forces in higher education resulted in an uneven recovery from the pandemic, with some colleges struggling or even shutting their doors, others resiliently bouncing back to pre-pandemic operating levels, and some even growing stronger in achieving their mission. With regard to the destabilizing effects of change, it was the 20th-century pugilist Mike Tyson who said, “Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.” For many nonprofit and educational leaders, the pandemic was a sucker punch.

According to the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2022 Global Risks Report, the pandemic is much more than a temporary and single bump in the road. Researchers at the WEF suggest that organizations will increasingly encounter, and be challenged by a “volatile, fractured, and increasingly catastrophic” outlook that includes social cohesion erosion, geo-economic confrontations, cybersecurity failures, misinformation and digital inequality, among other factors.

I think it’s time for leaders to move beyond their initial reaction to the pandemic’s sucker punch and begin to plan for the next rounds of disruption to come. In a recent article, Maureen Metcalf, my fellow Forbes Councils member and a colleague I work with on podcasts, articulates an innovative leadership framework that explains how leaders can develop more complex perspectives as a way to manage complex challenges. One such lens that enables leaders to conduct situational analysis and realign elements of the system to achieve growth during periods of disruption is put forth by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his book Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. This lens accounts for the impact of stress on organizations over time and articulates an action logic that can result in strengthened systems. In relation to stressors, Taleb classifies organizational systems in one of three ways:

Fragile: Systems that break under pressure, where the results of the organization decrease in value due to the negative asymmetry with the operating environment.

Robust: Systems that stay the same under pressure, or are resilient and have the ability to return to a state of symmetry and balance with the operating environment.

Antifragile: Systems that get stronger under pressure (up to a point), where the results of the system increase in value due to positive asymmetry with the operating environment.

Taleb suggests that these three states are relative to a given situation, and not an absolute property of a system. For example, a glass may be robust enough to hold hot water, but fragile enough to break if it is dropped. One can also determine if an object or system feature is more fragile than another and predict which one will last longer in a given situation. For Taleb, antifragile systems are strengthened by introducing them to a modicum of harm, challenge or stress. Think weightlifting for muscle strength or vaccinations for disease immunity.

The action logic and related decisions leaders make in response to disruption can either make organizations more fragile, resilient or antifragile. Taleb calls professionals who cause systems to be more fragile over time the “fragilista.” I think this type of thinking is reflected in responses to change for many non-profit and educational organizations that have experienced a loss in value during the pandemic. These fragilista organizations:

  • Are unwilling to consider competitive forces and to respond accordingly.
  • Define all disorder as “bad” or as roadblocks to goals.
  • Refuse to look objectively at low-performing programs and to take appropriate action.
  • Maintain and defend the “status quo” rather than experiment with alternative approaches that may be more effective
  • Choose not to keep pace with emerging risks such as digital security and cyber-threats
  • Have inadequate cash reserves or resources to invest in more promising options.
  • Restrict the use of staff and resources rather than engage all resources and the collective intelligence of people in resolving problems and pursuing new opportunities.

Developing A Fresh Mindset

Alternatively, more innovative leaders can think beyond resilient approaches to antifragile approaches that respond to disruption in ways that increase the performance value of their organization. Presented below are eight ideas for leaders who are interested in developing a more antifragile mindset.

  1. Heighten awareness of changing situations by regularly reading reports such as the WEF’s Global Risks Report mentioned earlier.
  2. Set financial growth goals, develop plans to achieve them and work to assure that the value of intended accomplishments exceeds the cost of pursuing them.
  3. Seek to detect fragilities in organizational systems and minimize them, rather than avoid addressing the necessary cuts that can potentially drain critical resources away from more valued initiatives.
  4. Encourage creativity and risk-taking that supports growth strategies. This can include entrepreneurship activity, running pilot projects and conducting program experiments.
  5. Collaborate with partners who are willing to grow with you and to put “skin in the game,” as suggested by Taleb. In this way, partners are invested in the outcomes, more likely to think long-term and less likely to be affected by disruption.
  6. Consider what Gervase Bushe and Jacob Storch call “generative images” when communicating about changes to your team. Metaphors of organizational transformation can offer fresh insights and change one’s ideas about what is possible and desirable to achieve.
  7. Pursue interdisciplinary learning by tackling problems that don’t fit neatly into a disciplinary area, connecting ideas across disciplines, learning from experts in different fields and taking field trips to learn about other complex organizational systems.
  8. Participate in innovative leadership development programs. Across industries, there are plenty of such programs designed for leaders.

Leaders can expect to face multiple sources of disruption in the foreseeable future. It is reasonable to think that disharmony and disruption on the horizon will penalize more rigid and inflexible leaders and their organizations. Alternatively, those leaders willing to develop an antifragile mindset can be well positioned to adapt their plans and approaches to emerging realities and grow through the stress and disorder.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Christopher L. Washington, Ph.D. serves as Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at Franklin University. He is a Fellow of the Innovative Leadership Institute, and serves on the America250 International Advisory Council.

 

RESOURCES:

Ready to measure your leadership skills? Here is a free assessment provided by the Innovative Leadership Institute that will measure the 7 leadership skills required to succeed during disruption and innovation. Click HERE

If you completed the Leadership Mindset Assessment and want to explore additional resources to develop your leadership, we recommend you:

  1. Read the Forbes article Are You A Future-Ready Leader– free
  2. Purchase the short video course, Leading during Disruption, for $29
  3. Purchase a comprehensive online course ILI Leadership Mindset Program for $174.99
  4. Purchase a comprehensive leadership development program – see options in the Innovative Leadership Course Library

Deeper Waters: 9-month intensive cohort experience linking leadership development with personal and spiritual work hosted by ILI Certified Facilitators: April Blaine and Dan Mushalko.

Are you ready to shift your career into high gear? Check out the Career Winners Circle’s epic free challenge:  Affiliate Challenge link 

Read our article published by Cutter.com Innovative Leadership: Leading Post-Pandemic & Beyond

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future via iTunesTuneInStitcherSpotify,  Amazon Music,  AudibleiHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

Humbitious: The Power of Low-Ego, High-Drive Leadership

Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we strive to bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

This week’s article is written by Amer Kaissi, a professional speaker and certified executive coach. His most recent book, from which this article is taken, is “Humbitious: the power of low-ego, high-drive leadership.” It is a companion piece to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Humbitious: How to be Ambitious Without the Ego which aired on July 26, 2022. 

Short clip from the interview:

Link to the entire interview:

 

Based on the extensive research published in the last 10 years, humility in leadership can be thought of in terms of three main building blocks:

  • how you understand yourself (self-awareness, self-reflection, and vulnerability);
  • how you understand your relationships with others (open-mindedness, appreciation of others, and generosity); and
  • how you understand your place in the universe (transcendence).

The first block: How you understand yourself

Humility is first and foremost about having an accurate view of yourself. Although some people—and even some dictionaries— view humility as synonymous with low self-esteem, psychology and leadership experts describe humility as understanding one’s talents and accomplishments while accepting one’s imperfections and shortcomings.

When you have a talent or special skill and you don’t acknowledge it, you are not displaying humility. Rather, you are engaging in self-disparagement and possibly ingratitude. As a humble, smart leader, you should recognize that you are smart but you should also know that you are not smarter than everyone else—or smarter than the collective intelligence of the group that you lead. You can appreciate that you have expertise in strategy, for example, but you should also acknowledge that you don’t know everything about the subject and that you still have a lot to learn.

The second block: How you understand your relationships with others

Once you are aware of your personal limitations, you can be open to new ideas and ways of thinking, and you become willing to learn from others. The clever organizational theorist Karl Weick perfectly captured this when he encouraged leaders to admit the shortcomings of their knowledge: “When a leader is able to humbly admit ‘I don’t know,’ that admission forces the leader to drop the pretense, drop omniscience, drop expert authority, drop a macho posture, and drop monologues . . . listening and exploring is the consequence.”

You then ask for advice, you seek and listen to honest feedback from others, and you even solicit contradictory views. Brad Owens, professor of business ethics at Brigham Young University and one of the leading researchers in the field of humble leadership, describes this quality as “teachability”: the willingness to admit ignorance, appreciate others’ contributions, and learn from them. Teachability entails having an open mind, a curiosity towards others, and an interest in understanding them and their views.

The third block: How you understand your place in the universe

As a humble leader, you aren’t just aware that you need others’ help and ideas; you are also aware of your insignificance in the universe. You may have worked incessantly with your team to develop a new product line that will significantly increase revenue for your organization for years to come, but in the grand scheme of things, your impact is insignificant, and you need to be aware of that.

This nothingness can be appreciated in terms of how powerful God is or how large the universe is, but it can also be realized by simply observing nature or contemplating history. Arrogance can sometimes make you feel like you are the center of the universe, but when you realize how connected everything is and how small and insignificant you are, you can truly develop your humility—and, in so doing, perhaps paradoxically, you become a fuller person.

Please note, though, that transcendence is not a call for surrender, laziness, or relinquishing action. It is about understanding your small role but still doing it to the best of your abilities in a humble and ambitious way. You may not matter much in the grand scheme of things, but you have an important role to play in your small corner of the universe.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Amer Kaissi is a professional speaker and a certified executive coach. His most recent book, from which this article is taken, is “Humbitious: the power of low-ego, high-drive leadership.” Amer is an award-winning Professor of Healthcare Administration at Trinity University, a Top-15 program. He is also the author of the book “Intangibles: The Unexpected Traits of High-Performing Healthcare Leaders,” which has won the 2019 American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) Book of the Year award. He is an avid soccer fan and he lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife and two teenagers.

He can be reached at www.amerkaissi.com or on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amer-kaissi-ph-d-38258919/

 

RESOURCES:

Ready to measure your leadership skills? Here is a free assessment provided by the Innovative Leadership Institute that will measure the 7 leadership skills required to succeed during disruption and innovation. Click HERE

If you completed the Leadership Mindset Assessment and want to explore additional resources to develop your leadership, we recommend you:

  1. Read the Forbes article Are You A Future-Ready Leader– free
  2. Purchase the short video course, Leading during Disruption, for $29
  3. Purchase a comprehensive online course ILI Leadership Mindset Program for $174.99
  4. Purchase a comprehensive leadership development program – see options in the Innovative Leadership Course Library

Deeper Waters: 9-month intensive cohort experience linking leadership development with personal and spiritual work hosted by ILI Certified Facilitators: April Blaine and Dan Mushalko.

Are you ready to shift your career into high gear? Check out the Career Winners Circle’s epic free challenge:  Affiliate Challenge link 

Read our article published by Cutter.com Innovative Leadership: Leading Post-Pandemic & Beyond

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future via iTunesTuneInStitcherSpotify,  Amazon Music,  AudibleiHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

The Power of Trauma-Informed Leadership

This week we continue the Connex Executive Insights Series, produced in collaboration with Connex Partners, an invitation-only executive network that brings industry leaders together from the worlds of HR and Healthcare.

Connex Members are part of a cutting-edge community, finding actionable solutions to their most pressing business challenges via high-value peer exchanges and curated resources including tools, platforms, partners and c-suite networking opportunities.

Executive Insights Series features highly respected and engaging guests who share novel ideas and practices related to the latest leadership topics.

This week’s article is written by Rachael Kelly, the former Chief People Officer of bar-and-grill-chain Smokey Bones; Kelly is now the CPO at WestDerm, a leading provider of dermatology services under the same PE umbrella.  It is a companion piece to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Informed Leadership:  The Power of Trauma that aired on July 19, 2022. 

Short clip from the interview:

Link to the entire interview:

It’s unnerving to think that, at this moment in time, “ennui” might be the best word for our collective, daily experience. While some have tried, and even succeeded, to get back into the groove of things following all that’s happened in the last two and a half years, there’s a large contingent of the world that hasn’t. We see that reality reflected all around us: it’s mentioned on the news; it comes up in weekly team check-ins; it’s the focus of TIME articles; and it’s become part of the cultural ethos we see reflected in the memes of a Gen Z workforce that’s replacing Baby Boomers at a rate of 10,000 per day according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. It’s something that I, myself, struggle with day-in and day-out alongside many of my industry peers.

In the process of trying to find a witty and interesting way to open this article, I stumbled upon the work of Nakeia Homer, a self-healing guide and author. She released her first book, “I Hope This Helps”, in October of 2020 as a collection of curated quotes, poems, and other messages that drew from her wealth of experience and her own personal struggles. One of its quotes managed to cut through the noise of my Google searching, and in a few short phrases, succinctly captured what today’s workers feel and needed to hear: “You are not lazy, unmotivated, or stuck. After years of living your life in survival mode, you are exhausted. There is a difference.”

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire

That difference was well understood by Rachael Kelly, the former Chief People Officer of bar-and-grill-chain Smokey Bones; Kelly is now the CPO at WestDerm, a leading provider of dermatology services under the same PE umbrella. Smokey Bones was hit the way you’d imagine at the start of the lockdowns, and within three days, revenues were slashed by 80%. “We had to immediately change our business model [from dine-in],”explains Kelly, “and it was a question of how are we going to do this and survive?” They were confident that they would be successful, and that they’d even learn to thrive in what they anticipated would be a new normal, but they knew they couldn’t do it alone. There was an opportunity to redefine their business model, but it would take everything they could do to help their people navigate this disruption.

As Kelly put it: “Everyone was on compensation reduction, in a population that already, in many instances, was working paycheck to paycheck. Overnight, the rug was completely pulled from underneath them. They had to figure out how they were going to pay their bills […] and there’s no buffer – you don’t get a month to figure that out.” All that financial pressure was compounded by the other realities of being in a service industry position at the height of the pandemic: having to deal with angry patrons; being the enforcer of not just company, but city and state policy; watching those around you, from coworker to loved one, suffer through the full gamut of tragedy, from sickness to destitution. “In the restaurant industry, you never thought about life and death as part of your work,” explains Kelly, “but now with increased sanitation and all the precautions, it was life and death.” The server trying to make ends meet may not be the first image to come to mind when someone hears the word “trauma”, but that’s exactly what they – alongside most of us – experienced.

The Trauma-Informed Leader

Trauma recovery, like the rest of mental health, is tricky business, as it impacts both the mind and body due to the way in which we respond to stress. The recovery process can be simply summarized into three key steps – achieving safety and stability, remembering and grieving what was lost, and finally reconnecting with the self – but those are all much easier said than done. Walking down that path requires not only considerable discipline, mindfulness, and self-care, but the support of others. While wellness and resilience had always been discussed with a tangential link to the workplace, that connection was crystalized during the pandemic. The workplace itself became a source of undue stress, making harm reduction and employee support not just moral imperatives, but strategic levers. It’s here that trauma-informed leadership (TIL) principles shone as a means of providing the validating, safe, and supportive environment teams needed to meet their objectives.

TIL has its roots in trauma-informed care (TIC), which came about in the 1970s as a response to the physical and mental traumas experienced by Vietnam War veterans. TIC is built on 5 key foundational principles:

  1. SAFETY: Ensuring secure and unconditional physical and emotional protection.
  2. CHOICE: Providing affected individuals with control and an outlet for their voice.
  3. COLLABORATION: Making decisions with – not for – them.
  4. TRUSTWORTHINESS: Clear, consistent delivery on promises and an unwavering respect for boundaries.
  5. EMPOWERMENT: Encouraging skill building and identity through validation and affirmation.

Originally a lens for approaching patient care that better took into account trauma when diagnosing and treating individuals, its principles have since been adapted as a framework to help leaders achieve better team cohesion, cultural growth, and leadership agility. And it’s easy to see why, given that those principles should resonate with nearly any manager or executive that’s participated in a leadership development course. By applying these principles to the workplace, leaders can replace command and control leadership that expects employees to process the situation and roll with the punches – typically to their own detriment – with something warmer. Something more humanizing, that actually delivers on the promise of being able to bring “your whole self” to work, and in turn, speaks to what today’s employee want to see in the workplace.

TIL Praxis

This begs the question: how can your average manager, VP, or Executive apply TIL principles to everyday interactions? What does this all practically look like? As with nearly every other element of leadership, the short answer is, “it depends”. It’s a highly situational process of evaluating the present and immediate evidence and making the call that best aligns with the stated goals. However, there are some general tips to keep in mind:

  • Maintain a watchful eye for signs of stress, frustration, agitation, and depression, as well as for evidence of absenteeism or anxiety.
  • Follow that identification with increased communication and support, using a calm and genuine tone; the focus should be on their health, not the sentiment that they’re underperforming.
  • Prioritize the “why” when making decisions or offering guidance, as that helps build consensus and gives an opportunity for open, candid dialogue.
  • Help in removing stigmas around mental health through marketing/communications, regular team dialogue, and vulnerably sharing your own story.
  • Model the healthy, self-care behaviors you expect teams to practice. The more your team sees you overextending yourself, the more they feel pressure to do the same.

Perhaps most importantly, recognize and respect the fact that every individual on your team is unique, with their own capacity, situation, capabilities, and in turn, trauma recovery timeline. Many of us joined the workforce in an era where the principles of consistency and predictability were seen as virtues, but the world has become too volatile and unpredictable for those to be anything more than general goals. It’s easy for our desires of what “should” be possible to get in the way of what “is” possible if we’re not vigilant in assessing how we interact with and guide our teams. Ultimately, what makes an effective leader isn’t the consistency with which once cleaves to protocol and strategic plans, but one’s ability to recognize, in the moment, when an exception needs to be made.

The Results Speak for Themselves

Redefining how they approach leadership and being comfortable with pivoting helped save Smokey Bones from what seemed like an impossible situation. They managed to tangibly recover as early as October of 2020, and maintained industry-leading growth for 5 consecutive quarters. As it started to work, Kelly and the rest of her executive team began to ask themselves: “what is it that’s working, and how do we codify and memorialize this and continue to evolve our organization? Because we’re not going to go back; we’re going to go forward.”

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachael Kelly is the former Chief People Officer of bar-and-grill-chain Smokey Bones.  Kelly is now the CPO at WestDerm, a leading provider of dermatology services under the same PE umbrella.  In her role at Smokey Bones, Kelly was responsible for end-to-end human capital management, facilitating an employee-engaged culture, and serving as a trusted member of the executive team who guided the organization to achieve its strategic goals. Kelly is a career human resources and operations professional, having started with Pizza Hut, where she worked through various roles during her 18-year tenure with the global pizza leader. Her climb through the ranks landed Kelly in her final role as HR Consultant to the National Pizza Hut franchise system supporting 150 franchisees and nearly 6000 restaurants before serving in key leadership roles for other restaurant brands prior to joining Smokey Bones. Kelly was recently named Woman of the Year by the National Diversity Council, along with other accolades including being named Most Influential Restaurant Industry Executive by Nation’s Restaurant News and Top 50 Human Resources Professional by Oncon Icon Awards.

Kelly’s unique vision and approach served well in her time at Smokey Bones during the pandemic, with the team experiencing extreme compensation and environmental pressures, launching multiple virtual brands, and executing a bootstrap recovery of the business.  Under her leadership, Smokey Bones rebuilt culture inside out founded on the concept of humancentric leadership, was certified as a Great Place To Work for two consecutive years, expanded benefits, mentoring, and career path access to all frontline employees, and persevered with industry leading staffing, employee retention and brand performance.

In addition, Rachael has founded HiveStrong, an organization dedicated to supporting abuse survivors through their journey to empowerment.

Rachael spends her time between Smokey Bones based in Plantation, FL, and Dallas, TX where she raises her two special needs boys ages 5 and 8.

 

RESOURCES:

Ready to measure your leadership skills? Here is a free assessment provided by the Innovative Leadership Institute that will measure the 7 leadership skills required to succeed during disruption and innovation. Click HERE

If you completed the Leadership Mindset Assessment and want to explore additional resources to develop your leadership, we recommend you:

  1. Read the Forbes article Are You A Future-Ready Leader– free
  2. Purchase the short video course, Leading during Disruption, for $29
  3. Purchase a comprehensive online course ILI Leadership Mindset Program for $174.99
  4. Purchase a comprehensive leadership development program – see options in the Innovative Leadership Course Library

Join The 12th Annual WBECS Summit by Coaching.com today! There’s still time to register if you haven’t already done so. Make 2022 Your Year with the WBECS Summit

Are you ready to shift your career into high gear? Check out the Career Winners Circle’s epic free challenge:  Affiliate Challenge link 

Innovative Leadership: Leading Post-Pandemic & Beyond

To navigate the Great Resignation, focus on employee experience

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future via iTunesTuneInStitcherSpotify,  Amazon Music,  AudibleiHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

Leading With Character

Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we strive to bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

This week’s interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future is titled Leading with Character: A Real-Life Red Roof Report.  George Limbert, President of Red Roof, shares the many ways any good leader can display character, calmly analyze corporate storms, and deal with other real-life ups and downs of leadership.

Short clip from the interview:

 Link to the entire interview:

 

 

This week’s article is written by Maureen Metcalf, based on the article, Developing Leadership Character by Mary Crossan, Gerard SeijtsJeffrey Gandz, published in the Ivey Business Journal Issues: January / February 2012.

In our rapidly changing world, that is filled with disruption and ethical challenges, leadership character is critical.  According to the article, Developing Leadership Character, “When it comes to leadership, competencies determine what a person can do. Commitment determines what they want to do, and character determines what they will do.”

“Character fundamentally shapes how we engage the world around us, what we notice, what we reinforce, who we engage in conversation, what we value, what we choose to act on, how we decide…and the list goes on.” While there is no generally accepted definition of character, Mary Crossan and her co-authors focus on personality traits, values, and virtues as the focus of virtue-based character in their article, Developing Leader Character. They also highlight the importance of Judgment which is at the centre of their leader character framework shown in Figure 1.”

 

All of the behaviors associated with character are virtuous, meaning that they have been vetted by research as being desirable by cultures throughout history. And because only a few of the behaviors are trait based, character can be developed. Some of the behaviors can be viewed as values, but it is important to recognize that they are not just any values, but only ones that satisfy the criteria of being virtuous. The Developing Leadership Character article provides an in-depth analysis of eleven leadership virtues and what happens when they are either lacking or over weighted. Aristotle noted any virtue will operate like a vice when not supported by the other virtues. Thus, Courage becomes recklessness when not supported by Temperance. Integrity that is not supported by Humanity and Humility runs the risk of a person being dogmatic and egotistic. The aim is for individuals to develop strength in all dimensions of character. The following example from their article describes how a virtue can strengthen an individual’s performance and, when not supported by other dimensions of character, becomes a vice.

  • Accountability ensures that leaders own and commit to the decisions they make and encourages the same in others
  • Without Accountability, leaders don’t commit to or own the decisions they make and cannot get others to do so. They blame others for poor outcomes and, in doing so, create a culture of fear and disengagement.  People stop caring, with potentially disastrous consequences.

How do we develop character?

Because character is habit, the question to ask is “who am I becoming while I am busy doing?” advises Crossan. We are always becoming something – more courageous, or less courageous, more humble or less humble. Developing character requires understanding what it is, and in particular, how virtues could operate like a vice. Many people are proud of their candor, their modesty, their calm, etc. but if these behaviors and the dimensions of character they support are not part of a strong network of behaviors, there is every possibility that they are counterproductive – operating like a vice. Consider, something like “grit,” which has been widely touted as important. There are many behaviors within Courage and Drive that are grit-like, but research around grit has shown that it can lead to burnout. Why? Because you need the other dimensions of character, and in particular Judgment, to know when to exercise grit and when not to.

Developing character flies in the face of many approaches to leadership that suggest we should focus on our strengths and rely on other people to complement our weaknesses. Complementarity makes sense for personality traits like introversion or extroversion, but when it comes to character, weaknesses compromise individual judgment.

From another article co-authored by Mary Crossan, Elevating Leader Character Alongside Competence in Selection, “Character is constantly evolving, both personally and professionally. Thus, a person’s work and life experiences fundamentally shape character, and the story about who someone is and why they have become the person they are is unique to each person.” It will be important for the individual and the organization to attend to the virtues they want to see and understand how different virtues complement one another and how they complement one another.

For each of the items referenced above, if we are not conscious and motivated, we are unlikely to change elements of character. Self-awareness, conscious choice, rewarding context, aligning complementary virtues, practicing virtuous behaviors, and motivation all impact the choice and outcome of the work to build character.

As we wrap up the discussion, I would like to return to the article written by Mary Crossan and her colleagues, “Character is not something that you have or don’t have.  All of us have character, but the key is the depth of development of each facet of character that enables us to lead holistically.  Character is not a light switch that can be turned on and off.  There are degrees, and every situation presents a different experience and opportunity to learn and deepen character.  In particular, and for better or for worse, character comes to the fore when managing a crisis.  No one is perfect when it comes to character, and given that its development is a lifelong journey, we will rise to the occasion in some situations and disappoint ourselves and those around us in others.”

In our current, fast-changing environment, we need leaders who demonstrate character, informed by leadership virtues. Organizations must understand how to build character and also the contexts that inhibit character development.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Maureen Metcalf, CEO of the Innovative Leadership Institute, is a renowned executive advisor, coach, consultant, author and speaker.

 

RESOURCES:

Ready to measure your leadership skills? Here is a free assessment provided by the Innovative Leadership Institute that will measure the 7 leadership skills required to succeed during disruption and innovation. Click HERE

If you completed the Leadership Mindset Assessment and want to explore additional resources to develop your leadership, we recommend you:

  1. Read the Forbes article Are You A Future-Ready Leader– free
  2. Purchase the short video course, Leading during Disruption, for $29
  3. Purchase a comprehensive online course ILI Leadership Mindset Program for $174.99
  4. Purchase a comprehensive leadership development program – see options in the Innovative Leadership Course Library

Join The 12th Annual WBECS Summit by Coaching.com today! There’s still time to register if you haven’t already done so. Make 2022 Your Year with the WBECS Summit

Are you ready to shift your career into high gear? Check out the Career Winners Circle’s epic free challenge:  Affiliate Challenge link 

Innovative Leadership: Leading Post-Pandemic & Beyond

To navigate the Great Resignation, focus on employee experience

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future via iTunesTuneInStitcherSpotify,  Amazon Music,  AudibleiHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

The Five Lost Superpowers

Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we strive to bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

This week’s article is written by John Reid, President and Lead Designer of JMReid Group, a global behavior change organization specializing in leadership, development, sales effectiveness and skill enhancement.  It is a companion piece to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled The Five Lost Superpowers that aired on July 5, 2022. 

Short clip from the interview:

Link to the entire interview:

 

The Five Lost Superpowers – Highlights

There is a well of untapped potential inside you, just waiting to be unleashed.

Everyone has superpowers when they are a child, yet we tend to lose them as we grow up. We’re taught to dampen the natural strength of our Curiosity, Resilience, Authenticity, Compassion, and Playfulness, but they linger there, right below the surface.

In The Five Lost Superpowers: Why We Lose Them and How to Get Them Back, you’ll begin to understand why you came to believe that powers don’t fit in a “grown-up” world and discover how to reignite them in your best self as a leader, and in those around you.

The following chapter excerpts offer a glimpse into The Five Lost Superpowers – the full text is available wherever you buy your books in print, digital, or audiobook.

CURIOSITY

Welcome to Earth

In what can only be described as a miracle (given the odds), you were born! Do you realize what has to happen for you to be born and the chances you came out as you? The odds of you being born as you may be as much as 1 in 400 trillion. Welcome to Earth!

You were born with no cape, no lasso of truth, not even a heart-shaped herb from Wakanda. While you were pretty much naked, you did have one thing going for you: you were born wildly curious. From the moment you showed up, there you were, studying shapes, sounds, movements, colors, and textures. You explored both verbal and nonverbal language. You approached the world constantly testing a hypothesis that your little brain had concocted—“I can eat this block. I can ride this dog. I can touch this paint.” You were the head of Research and Development for You, Inc.

Theorists and empiricists have worked hard to understand childhood curiosity and have come up with a variety of ways to define it. Studies in the field use terms like incongruity theory, ambiguity aversion, effectance motivation, and ocular lust, to name a few.

Susan Engel, author of The Hungry Mind and a leading international authority on curiosity in children, says it best, “I would suggest that curiosity is simply the urge to know more.”

As an infant, your curiosity superpower is, well, in its infancy. You have not reached your full superpower as an infant because your language skills are of little help in your pursuit of knowledge. You’re simply Tony Stark or Bruce Wayne before they suit up.

It is when we become toddlers and are able to ask questions that our curiosity superpower reaches its zenith. It is questions, and how we structure and deliver them, that demonstrate true curiosity.

In 2007, researchers logging questions asked by children aged fourteen months to five years found they asked an average of 107 questions an hour. One child asked three questions a minute at his peak. That’s Hulk-level curiosity.

In their free exploration, children can pose delightful questions:

  • If I have two eyes, how come I can only see one thing at a time?
  • How did the first people make tools when there were no tools?
  • Why don’t spiders get stuck in their own webs?
  • What if bees could talk?

Children are not inhibited by adult mental and emotional baggage (feeling shame, fearing embarrassment, feigning confidence). Children are not told nonsense like, “Fake it ’til you make it” or “Hold your questions until the end.” If they are raised in a healthy environment, their curiosity and questions are rewarded. However, almost imperceptibly, their curiosity superpower is under attack.

That’s just a taste of Curiosity. Read on to start unlocking a bit of Playfulness.

PLAYFULNESS

Of all the superpowers, “play” is the most fun to say. “Work,” on the other hand, sounds so fixed, rigid, and serious. Playfulness, the noun, is described as being light-hearted or full of fun. While play appears to be a good time, in the never-ending to-do list of adulthood, play might seem like a colossal waste of time. In the end, do we really want to encourage managers and leaders to be playful?

Play, or playfulness, is the final superpower and a fitting capstone to our journey, which began with curiosity, as there is a natural connection between the two.

Play is to work as finger painting is to coloring by numbers. Coloring by numbers, with its rules and lines, is restrictive, with a clear end in mind; it’s so outcome-driven. Conversely, finger painting is liberating—a little red (creativity), some blue (imagination), let’s grab some yellow (curiosity), and why not some green (laughter), and you have this messy thing we call “play.”

It is hard to discuss play without bringing in imagination and creativity. Play is the physical exercise of the imagination. Being able to use symbolic substitutes for real objects is at the core of imagination. Imagination is not only an essential ingredient for play but an expected outcome.

The Value of Play

One of the more transformational studies of child’s play comes from Russian psychiatrist Lev Vygotsky, who stated, “In play, a child is always above his average age, above his daily behavior; in play, it is as though he were a head taller than himself.”

There are a number of interpretations of Vygotsky’s meaning when it comes to children as they develop. What is not in dispute is that Vygotsky is, as we are here, talking about one type of playfulness: make-believe and unstructured play. Unstructured by adults, but perhaps structured by the children themselves, with negotiated rules, identified roles, and chosen sides.

As we will see, the paradox of play is that while it may look silly and frivolous, it offers, when unstructured, a number of benefits for children and adults alike.

It is in this make-believe world that real-world cognitive development occurs. Vygotsky notes, “Play is a transitional stage. At the critical moment when a stick becomes a horse, one of the basic psychological structures determining the child’s relation- ship to reality is radically altered.”

Play also overrides instant gratification. In our opening story about Ben, his fellow Dragons were on the swing sets, or, as they called it, in jail. Clearly, they could run off whenever they wanted, so why wait? Observing the rules of the game brings greater joy than the easy relief of freedom. A fascinating aspect of child’s play is the unwritten rules by which most participants willingly abide.

Play facilitates the ability to see others’ perspectives—or what is called “cognitive decentering.” In pretend play, children adroitly assign roles (“I’m a Dragon”) and make use of props (“This wrapping paper tube is your sword”). Perspective-taking occurs because the child playing the Dragon is aware of the imaginary sword and proclamations of the Dragon Slayer. In fact, children can easily switch roles because they’re able to readily summon the appropriate perspective.

More tools for unlocking Curiosity and Playfulness, plus Resilience, Authenticity, and Compassion await. Read the full text of The Five Lost Superpowers and tap into your unlocked potential!

The Five Lost Superpowers: Why We Lose Them and How to Get Them Back by John Reid, Andrew Reid, Corena Chase and Lynae Steinhagen

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John Reid is the Founder, President and Lead Designer of JMReid Group, a global behavior change organization specializing in leadership, development, sales effectiveness and skill enhancement. After John survived three bouts of cancer, he decided to pursue his passion for learning and development. John pursued this passion with a belief that people want to get better and can get better, but it is often the manner in which traditional training is designed and delivered that makes this desire for growth difficult.

As the lead designer for JMReid Group, John shifts the design emphasis from models and intellectual property to a learning experience that is relevant to the learner’s real world, taps into participants’ wisdom and is engaging and sustainable. His is a clearly learner-centric approach.

John is the author of Moving from Models to Mindsets: Rethinking the Sales Conversation and the book, The Five Lost Superpowers: Why We Lose Them and How to Get Them Back.

 

RESOURCES:

Ready to measure your leadership skills? Here is a free assessment provided by the Innovative Leadership Institute that will measure the 7 leadership skills required to succeed during disruption and innovation. Click HERE

If you completed the Leadership Mindset Assessment and want to explore additional resources to develop your leadership, we recommend you:

  1. Read the Forbes article Are You A Future-Ready Leader– free
  2. Purchase the short video course, Leading during Disruption, for $29
  3. Purchase a comprehensive online course ILI Leadership Mindset Program for $174.99
  4. Purchase a comprehensive leadership development program – see options in the Innovative Leadership Course Library

Join The 12th Annual WBECS Summit by Coaching.com today! There’s still time to register if you haven’t already done so. Make 2022 Your Year with the WBECS Summit

Are you ready to shift your career into high gear? Check out the Career Winners Circle’s epic free challenge:  Affiliate Challenge link 

Innovative Leadership: Leading Post-Pandemic & Beyond

To navigate the Great Resignation, focus on employee experience

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future via iTunesTuneInStitcherSpotify,  Amazon Music,  AudibleiHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

How To Build Your Personal Brand

Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we strive to bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

This week’s article is written by Raj Subrameyer, a tech career strategist who focuses on helping people land their dream job and become successful leaders.  It is a companion piece to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled A Cure for Toxic Leadership that airs on June 28, 2022. 

Short clip from the interview:

Link to the entire interview:

There is ONE THING that will set you apart from your competition in 2022

There are millions of jobs that have already been lost.

Thousand of businesses have already closed down.

So, a lot of people are looking for opportunities to start their next chapter.

That being said…

When there are thousands of people applying for the same job as you are,

-What is going to make you get that job?
-What will make you stand out from the rest of the crowd?
-What is going to make the company CHOOSE YOU over others?

The ANSWER IS: It is your PERSONAL BRAND.

It is different facets of you, that will eventually make the difference.

So, how do you build your personal brand in this highly competitive market?

Here are five things you want to do to build your personal brand and stand out from the crowd and 2022.

  1. The first thing is to grow your network, start following people engage in posts, attend meetups conferences.
  2. The second thing is continuous learning, read books, articles take courses.
  3. The third thing you want to do is be more visible. Start writing for publication, write blog posts, write articles, bit yourself for podcasts. That’s how you’re going to be more visible.
  4. The fourth thing you want to remember is to have clear vision goals and tasks. Because a goal without a plan is just rubbish.
  5. The final thing you want to do is invest in yourself. Hire coaches, get mentors, get a degree, because you have to be prepared to spend some money on your growth because you are worth it. You deserve it. And that’s how you’re going to stand out from the crowd.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Raj Subrameyer is a tech career strategist focusing on helping people to land their dream job and become successful leaders. He is passionate about guiding professionals to maximize their opportunities and discover their zone of genius. He has given multiple TEDx talks and is a sought-after speaker at various conferences and has been featured in numerous TV news segments, podcasts, and publications, including CBS, FOX, NPR, NBC, Entrepreneur, CIO Magazine, CEOWorld Magazine, Authority Magazine, Career Addict, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success and The Good Men Project. His areas of expertise include career advancement, leadership, motivation, productivity, and entrepreneurship. In his spare time, he loves traveling and enjoying craft beer. You can find more info about how he serves people through his website – www.rajsubra.com.

 

RESOURCES:

Ready to measure your leadership skills? Here is a free assessment provided by the Innovative Leadership Institute that will measure the 7 leadership skills required to succeed during disruption and innovation. Click HERE

If you completed the Leadership Mindset Assessment and want to explore additional resources to develop your leadership, we recommend you:

  1. Read the Forbes article Are You A Future-Ready Leader– free
  2. Purchase the short video course, Leading during Disruption, for $29
  3. Purchase a comprehensive online course ILI Leadership Mindset Program for $174.99
  4. Purchase a comprehensive leadership development program – see options in the Innovative Leadership Course Library

Join The 12th Annual WBECS Summit by Coaching.com today! There’s still time to register if you haven’t already done so. Make 2022 Your Year with the WBECS Summit

Are you ready to shift your career into high gear? Check out the Career Winners Circle’s epic free challenge:  Affiliate Challenge link 

Innovative Leadership: Leading Post-Pandemic & Beyond

To navigate the Great Resignation, focus on employee experience

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future via iTunesTuneInStitcherSpotify,  Amazon Music,  AudibleiHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

How To Make the Most of Every Word You Say In Your Next Meeting…WITHOUT Being Abrupt

Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we strive to bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

This week’s article is written by Jonathan Reitz, CoachNet’s FLUXIFY’s Director for Training/CEO.  It is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled The SHORT List of Communication Skills EVERY Leader Needs that airs on June 21, 2022. 

This insight and interview are brought to you in collaboration with WBECS by coaching.com. WBECS speakers represent some of the most brilliant minds and most innovative thinkers in the business and executive coaching space. WBECS provides the most impactful training and resources for professional coaches globally.

We’ve all been in a meeting with someone who talks too much. You know the person who doesn’t believe in using 100 words when they have 10,000 to say. There’s nothing more annoying or counter-productive.

During my first career in the radio and television news, we worked hard to say a LOT in just a few words. Time constraints were part of the reason, but so was the short attention span of the listener or viewer. “Say it shorter” was our mantra.

In my coach training business, I work with many coaches and leaders who have difficulty keeping their conversational contributions to a minimum. It’s a direct result of the coaching relationship but not necessarily a direct result of the coach’s contributions. One of the cornerstones of coaching is that we show up in such a way that the client connects the dots and comes up with new ideas on their own.

To remedy this, follow this nine-step plan:

  1. Record a meeting or a conversation that’s important to you. It works best when something is at stake because you’ll be motivated to make the most of your communication.
  2. Let a little time pass. You have to be objective about what you hear on the recording. Forgetting the details of the conversation makes this easier. I know after thousands of recordings of my coaching that I have difficulty being objective if the memory is too fresh. I think everything I say is either mind-blowing or uninteresting. So I let 4-6 weeks go by before I review the conversation. You might need that long or a little less.
  3. Take a first pass at editing what you said. Now comes the hard part. Get a pad of paper and a pen. (Remember paper and pen?) You must use paper and pen for the step in the process, as your brain engages more thoroughly when using multiple physical systems while writing with a pen/pencil compared to typing on a keyboard. Writing by hand multiplies the impact of the work we’re about to do.
  4. Listen to the recording. With paper and pen in hand, review the recording of your meeting, and write down every word you say. Allow plenty of time for this, but don’t overanalyze what you’re capturing. Don’t worry about what the other people say because we’re working on your communication. The work in this step is hard, agony; you’ll probably hate it. You might curse my name a few times. But the results will take you places you’ve never expected.
  5. Once you finish transcribing your contributions to the meeting, go back and look at what you say. Read it out loud if you can. Notice the times when you say more words than necessary. After a few minutes, rewrite everything your comments in half as many words while preserving the substance of your words. This first edit begins to point out different conversational choices and where you might be able to say the same things using fewer words. The most important thing is to keep the message intact but more efficient. Painful might describe this experience. It can be downright awful. But it is worth it. And we’re just getting started!
  6. By now, you see a tremendous opportunity for different communication. But don’t stop after one edit. Go back and take a second pass. Work to make it half as long as the first time while maintaining the content of your messages.
  7. Take a moment or two at the end of this second edit to reflect on how you could structure your sentences differently in your next meeting. Begin a draft of some communication guidelines you can use as a reference.
  8. Now the difficulty ramps up again. Take the second edit and pare it down a third time. Your transcript is now 1/2 as long as the second edit while still communicating the vital information. Now your communication becomes tremendously efficient, and your meetings will change! You might even find a few more slots on your calendar because your meetings shorten.
  9. For the last step, bullet out some ways your communication needs to change. Write your list by hand on a clean sheet of paper, trusting that using those muscles combined with the tactile sensation of holding a pen and writing on paper reinforces the learning and helps you retain what you discover.

Doing this exercise once or twice changes how you choose your words. Marrying this strategy with clear agendas and measurable outcomes ensures that your people will want to follow you because you respect their time and deliver meaningful messages. Your meetings will improve, and your people with thank you!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jonathan Reitz, MCC is CoachNet FLUXIFY’s Director for Training/CEO. Jonathan holds the Master Certified Coach (MCC) credential in the International Coaching Federation.   He’s also the co-founder of the Team Coaching Global Alliance, and a top-rated speaker at the World Business and Executive Coaches Summit (WBECS).

He wrote Coaching Hacks:  Simple Strategies to Make Every Conversation More Effective.  Jonathan is a member of the faculty in the Weatherhead School of Management Coaching Program at Case Western Reserve University.  Jonathan Reitz lives in Cleveland, Ohio with his wife Joy and daughter Julia.

 

RESOURCES:

Ready to measure your leadership skills? Here is a free assessment provided by the Innovative Leadership Institute that will measure the 7 leadership skills required to succeed during disruption and innovation. Click HERE

If you completed the Leadership Mindset Assessment and want to explore additional resources to develop your leadership, we recommend you:

  1. Read the Forbes article Are You A Future-Ready Leader– free
  2. Purchase the short video course, Leading during Disruption, for $29
  3. Purchase a comprehensive online course ILI Leadership Mindset Program for $174.99
  4. Purchase a comprehensive leadership development program – see options in the Innovative Leadership Course Library

Join The 12th Annual WBECS Summit by Coaching.com today! There’s still time to register if you haven’t already done so. Make 2022 Your Year with the WBECS Summit

Are you ready to shift your career into high gear? Check out the Career Winners Circle’s epic free challenge:  Affiliate Challenge link 

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future via iTunesTuneInStitcherSpotify,  Amazon Music,  AudibleiHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

Effective Leadership in Turbulent Times

Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we strive to bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

This week’s article is written by Ruchira Chaudhary, a leading executive coach and adjunct faculty at several top-tier business schools  It is a companion to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Coaching, the Secret Code to Uncommon Leadership that airs on June 14, 2022. 

This insight and interview are brought to you in collaboration with WBECS by coaching.com. WBECS speakers represent some of the most brilliant minds and most innovative thinkers in the business and executive coaching space. WBECS provides the most impactful training and resources for professional coaches globally.

In June 1966, Robert F. Kennedy said in a speech in Cape Town, ‘Like it or not, we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history.’ You may be familiar with this apocryphal Chinese curse that sounds like a blessing or a warm wish but is used ironically to indicate a period of chaos or disorder. I cannot think of a better analogy to describe the uncertainty of mammoth proportions we face today, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. On the work front, virtually overnight, the economic shock gave rise to a new reality that caused much stress and anxiety, leaving everyone bewildered. The work from home (WFH) phenomenon is now becoming our new normal; we may have settled into a routine of sorts, but the underlying duress, angst and the occasional panic attack is not going away. Today, more than ever, leaders must discern, adapt to and shape this shifting terrain. It is about balancing many fronts: A leader needs to focus on employee well-being yet drive business results; he needs to provide clarity despite not knowing enough and, above all, he needs to project confidence despite knowing harsh business realities. It’s also a time for displaying resilience, bouncing back and building agility that will help weather this storm professionally and personally.

A Time for Uncommon Leadership

Bouncing Back and Leaping Forward

First, leaders need to build higher levels of resilience in themselves and their teams by taking charge of how they think about misfortune, crisis and adversity. Defined as the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, or the ability to deal with a crisis situation or to quickly attain the pre-crisis status, resilience is perhaps the most essential ingredient in this leadership mix today. Resilient managers need to be nimble and show swiftness in taking decisions (even when they do not know the answers) and move from analysis to a plan of action (and reaction). It’s about shifting your thinking gears from what caused this crisis to how we fix it. Essentially, it is about moving from cause-oriented thinking to response-oriented thinking where the focus is strictly forward-looking.

Defining the end goal or destination first and working backwards to execute the plan will help employees envision the future and is emotionally stabilizing, suggests Punit Renjen, global chief executive officer, Deloitte. He adds, ‘Throughout the pandemic, organizations around the globe have demonstrated remarkable agility, changing business models literally overnight: setting up remote-work arrangements; offshoring entire business processes to less-affected geographies; initiating multi-company cooperation to redeploy furloughed employees across sectors. In each situation, the urgency for results prevailed over traditional bureaucratic responses. These organizations managed to do this because of the resilience of their leaders.’

Building Reservoirs of Trust

Second, leaders have to strengthen the trust equation. Trust, a seemingly abstract, ethereal concept, is critical for you to forge genuine bonds with the teams you lead. In times of crisis, as you lead through uncertainty, you need people to follow, and that can happen only if they believe in you, are inspired by you and are nurtured by trust. Research demonstrates that trust yields real results in terms of economic growth, increased shareholder value and innovation, greater community stability and better health outcomes. ‘From an employee perspective, consider that more than 60 per cent of workers say senior management–employee trust is paramount to their satisfaction. That’s because high-trust environments allow people to be their true selves, and when people can bring their whole selves to work, they are not only more creative, but more productive as well.’ Many leaders have done a phenomenal job of gaining this trust by deftly navigating the pandemic, despite the chaos, the unknown variables and the conflicting guidance at the start of the outbreak. They can continue to earn this trust by thinking of how they can rebuild a safe space for their people when they return to work (literally and metaphorically), how they stretch themselves to find the time to coach and guide in these uncertain times, and how they do their best to preserve jobs rather than cutting organization costs in the face of imminent losses. Therefore, trust is as important in a professional relationship as it is in a personal one. When leaders, despite their crazy schedules, find the time to check in on their people, they create with them a personal equation, based on trust.

Topics like grief are seldom discussed at work. In fact, more often than not, we don’t even know if we should discuss such topics. Leaders, mental health experts and coaches are now all telling us that it is okay to say you are not okay. Feelings of grief, loneliness and disconnection are real. It’s okay to respond by saying, ‘Actually, I am going completely crazy handling work, household chores, a young child and caring for the elderly.’ Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this pandemic is the open-endedness of it. If it were a temporary state, we could say aloud, ‘This too shall pass, hang in there.’ If we knew that there was light at the end of the tunnel, and we would eventually emerge from the long dark tunnel and soon there would be bright sunshine, things would have been very different. As a leader, it is a testing time for you. It is about maintaining the right balance and remaining focused on moving forward amid destabilizing uncertainty. That means helping your employees navigate complex emotions—grief, stress, loneliness—that most of us simply are not accustomed to in the workplace, at least at the scale we are experiencing now.

Extracted from Coaching: The Secret Code to Uncommon Leadership (authored by Ruchira Chaudhary) with permission from Penguin Random House India

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

An alumna of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Ruchira Chaudhary straddles the corporate and academic worlds – she is a leading executive coach, adjunct faculty at several top tier business schools and runs a boutique consulting firm focused on organizational strategy solutions.

Ruchira has a diverse and eclectic functional background in mergers and acquisitions, organization design, culture and leadership, coupled with two decades of experience in emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. During her corporate career, Ruchira held leadership roles in Medtronic and AIG in Singapore, Qatar Telecom (now Oredoo) in Qatar and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in India. 

Ruchira teaches and frequently coaches MBA students and senior executives as affiliate faculty at several top business schools. 

Her book Coaching: The Secret Code to Uncommon Leadership (PRH) has been critically acclaimed by so many luminaries – corporate leaders, sports captains and academics.

 

RESOURCES:

Ready to measure your leadership skills? Here is a free assessment provided by the Innovative Leadership Institute that will measure the 7 leadership skills required to succeed during disruption and innovation. Click HERE

If you completed the Leadership Mindset Assessment and want to explore additional resources to develop your leadership, we recommend you:

  1. Read the Forbes article Are You A Future-Ready Leader– free
  2. Purchase the short video course, Leading during Disruption,for $29
  3. Purchase a comprehensive online course ILI Leadership Mindset Programfor $174.99
  4. Purchase a comprehensive leadership development program – see options in the Innovative Leadership Course Library

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future via iTunesTuneInStitcherSpotify,  Amazon Music,  AudibleiHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Fear Is A Dishonest Act

Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we strive to bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.

This week’s article is written by Peter Kozodoy, award-winning author of Honest to Greatness. It is a companion to his interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled How to Harness Honesty which aires on June 7, 2022. 

This insight and interview are brought to you in collaboration with WBECS by coaching.com. WBECS speakers represent some of the most brilliant minds and most innovative thinkers in the business and executive coaching space. WBECS provides the most impactful training and resources for professional coaches globally.

Have you ever let fear get in your way?

Let’s do a thought experiment.

For one day, you’re going to be your bravest, most I-don’t-care self.

Think about it for a moment.

How would you think?

Feel?

Act?

What would you say and do?

Chances are, you’d be… different.

Cuz everyone has fear.

And everyone usually lets that fear make up some part of themselves.

That’s the part that reminds you to be cautious.

Not stick your neck out too far.

Because, obvi, you might get your head chopped off.

But will you really?

I mean, fear is great in the wild.

It keeps you alive.

But in our plastic world? What does it really do?

Prolly nothin’ good.

In fact, I bet that if you went through one day and didn’t let fear creep in AT ALL…

You’d probably feel a lot better.

Do a lot more.

And look back on the day and say, see? That wasn’t so bad!

Or maybe you’d get your head bitten off by a lion hiding in your bushes…

I doubt it, but ya never know.

But one thing’s for sure: There’s no way to know unless you try absolute bravery.

And I bet that you’ll probably create better results than when you’re fearful.

Better, because they’ll be more honest.

Your actions will be more pure — more aligned to who you really are and what you’re really trying to make happen.

Fear is the opposite. It’s a run-away-now thing when you should be on a charge-the-hill thing.

Just remember one important thing:

Fear isn’t something to conquer.

That would imply it’s something to begin with.

But it’s not. It’s nothing. It doesn’t exist unless you give it power.

So stop. It’s not helping you now.

Try bravery and fearlessness for one day, and see how it makes you feel.

After all, there’s nothing to lose but fear itself.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Peter Kozodoy is the award-winning author of Honest to Greatness, an Inc. 5000 serial entrepreneur, TEDx speaker, and business coach. His articles on leadership and entrepreneurship have appeared in Forbes, Inc., HuffPost, PR Daily, and more. He holds a BA in economics from Brandeis University and an MBA from Columbia Business School, and lives in Puerto Rico with his wife and their spoiled dog. To strike up an honest conversation, visit PeterKozodoy.com. 

 

RESOURCES:

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