Chapter 6. Leaders wanted
We have been talking about new leadership for five years, we have seen and heard about it in lectures, in a myriad of computer graphics, in articles, in HR schemes, in courses and in a thousand more places.
Theoretically there is a marked difference between what previously was a boss vs a leader, who supposedly responds better to the new types of professionals, being more intellectual than operational.
This crisis is the leadership practice test that we have been talking about so much and for so long because we all look for a guide when uncertainty strikes!
Honestly, up to now very few are passing this test when it comes to governments, industries and institutions. There are only a few who are coming out ahead. And this has nothing to do with age, level or gender (although women have stood out with better management of the situation) it has more to do with the attitudes and actions you are willing to carry out and sacrifice in order to implement individual and collective coordination.
It is not easy to abandon the theoretical manual and venture out to what is beyond going by the book, but we have detected 3 very important traits:
Good leaders don’t hide their emotions, they use them to empathize and maintain emotional balance in their teams or the people they are guiding:
We all ask ourselves how to navigate fear, uncertainty, not knowing what the future will bring, whether we are leaders or not. We are all a little lost. It’s normal when facing something so new. We have to carry what we feel on our sleeves and use it to be in tune with the context and to put things into motion. Showing ourselves in this light does not mean that we are a weak link, on the contrary, this is where there will be a surge of empathy, when going from our habitual pose of knowing everything to a position in which we recognize our shortcomings and surprise everyone with our more human side. We will be much more inspiring! Because we don’t fear being who we really are.
Let´s think about: Frederiksen who in one of her press conferences, gave the children of her country her voice, and took the time to explain to them why it was ok to be afraid and why she herself was afraid.
Good leaders put people first, they speak their people’s language and they are on the same page as their subordinates. They give a secondary role to business knowledge vs. vital knowledge:
In these times it is essential to show how much we care about people and what we are doing to understand and support them not only in terms of care but also in tone and manner, tools and even tips. Business, money, profits etc. take a back seat. Soft skills and what is known about the world beyond the company become apparent. (Do you know what matters to people, what they feel and where they are at in their lives?) Sure we are going to sacrifice part of the discourse we had been endorsing for years, but it is valid to rectify and adapt. We will gain recognition.
Jacinda Arden enforced quarantine on all those entering the country when only six cases had been registered knowing that she was putting the economy at risk “ahead of time”. ”. New Zealand up to April 16th had only four deaths.
Good leaders are humble, they learn from the experiences of others: why did we think that what happened in China wouldn’t happen in our country?
- Sharing concerns and problems holds us jointly responsible for the solution. It is not the time to make unilateral decisions, it is the time for being transparent, clear and direct. This provides us with allies, a good idea can be expected from any of the team members. It is the best tool to prevent what is coming.
- If they see a problem coming, they don’t minimize it, they take immediate action. We will contribute sensitivity and reality of context: because it’s not worth it to give false hopes. When we know what is going to happen, when you eliminate the uncertainty factor, a negative scenario becomes digestible, by just giving information you are providing the tools needed to face the situation and this action will be translated into results as well: because we will all have the mission of turning these adverse situations around on our minds.
We will sacrifice being the sole leaders, but we will propagate growth for all.
Let’s think about: Justin Trudeau who has always shared the actions and tools being used to curb the pandemic in his country with his citizens, while taking the advice of Nova Knight a 5 year old girl who by means of a video gives recommendations on how to keep people safe.
We don’t want this to become a manual on what to do and how to deal with this, we want it to be a reflective reading that will open our eyes that will bring us out of the anesthesia and mobilize us…. We want someone to advise us, to guide us, someone who will make clear what he or she needs of us and give us the freedom to support them with the best strategy design