Wondering how to Thrive in Post Pandemic World? Read This!!
Updated: Apr 21, 2021
Back in April, I created a webinar entitled “Leadership Lessons in Uncertain Times” which was developed with an optimistic yet practical undertone. Reason being, no one could have foreseen the turn of events that would occur over the next six to nine
months. Heightened civil unrest due to the US reckoning with systematic injustices against people of color, and an economic downturn unlike anything we’ve seen in the past half-century, and heightened anxiety due to a pervasive virus that has put to rest over 204K people in the US and 1.1M globally (and counting) has made the term “uncertain times” one of the biggest underestimations of all time. The reality is our world has changed by an order of magnitude that will prevent normalcy from ever being remotely close to what we’re accustomed.
As leaders, we have a responsibility and duty to be in the front and set the tone for their direct followers and those that may be watching indirectly. The two leadership keys of Vision and Trust present leaders with the tools to step up in the time of crisis by shifting from managing their people to leading them with their words and by example. Vision provides the direction while trust is the adhesive that connects leaders and followers in relationships that can be leverage for mobilization. The three growth keys of consistency, circumstances, and creation, offer practical means that when applied to the leadership keys consistently, will nurture the circumstances that will allow for the creation of strategies and systems during this transition from chaos to normalcy. Consistency is more valuable than ever now because it helps us center on our why, what, and how, while others get a real-time example of consistency that they need. Leaders must be intentional with managing the circumstances to establish the environment for their vision to be fulfilled as well as further solidify the trust earned. Lastly, the growth key of creation parlays the consistency and circumstances growth keys into strategies that move people closer to fulfilling the vision while leveraging trust through relationships.
While these leadership lessons highlight that the more things change the more thing stay the same, it is indicative of the optimistic view and one that anticipates regaining a sense of normalcy sooner rather than later. Little did anyone know our world would delve deeper into chaos and being more unpredictable than ever. Consequently, although optimism is great and fundamental in many instances, a leader’s opportunity to respond more strategically is heightened over this extended period of uncertainty. So what does leadership look like in the new normal that is fuzzier than ever? While we want to retain optimism, practical application holds its value over the long term.
In uncertain times, many of the things we have built our identity upon have either drastically changed or on their way to not existing anymore. Leaving leaders in a situation where they have to re-establish their strategic identities and having to design an environment that exposes our integrity and vulnerability.
Establishing your strategic identity begins with assessing what has changed in your environment that is impacting how you do business and how your customers perceive you in the market. This assessment assists in developing a gap analysis between who you are and who you are perceived to be. Being authentic to yourself in the pursuit of the vision sets a tone of accountability within any group. Further, those that follow you will respond to this authenticity with even higher levels of loyalty and engagement because as you trust them with your vision, it's only natural to reciprocate. The gap analysis between who you are and who you are perceived to also present an opportunity to re-affirm who you are, what you do, and why it matters. As the environment shifts around us, it’s important that we remain pliable to adapt to the shifts, yet remain true to the vision that launched you on this journey of entrepreneurship, leadership, or whatever it is that is driving you. [t
With the results of assessing your strategic identity, we’re now equipped with the info to design the environment to develop trust. The goal is to design an environment that exposes our integrity and vulnerability as a trust enabler. At the epicenter of this application is a deep empathy for the people that this environment is being designed for. More specifically, human-centered design consists of three phases; inspiration, ideation, and implementation. In designing a culture of trust such that the interactions within adaptive space are productive and not just blaming sessions, here are exemplary guidelines based on the three phases of human-centered design:
· Inspiration - learn directly from the people and environment to deeply understand trust deficiencies
· Ideation- make sense of what was learned, identify opportunities to leverage elements of trust (i.e., integrity, vulnerability), and prototype possible solutions in a controlled environment
· Implementation - bring your pilot to life, and eventually, expand throughout the entire organization
Establishing a strategic identity and designing a culture of trust that aligns with the shifts in the environment and/or market are initial steps that can be taken to lead effectively in our ever-changing world. While a common way to characterize our current time is “new normal”, let’s not be naïve to think that once we've done these things to adapt, that the fun is over and we can kick back and let the good times roll. We are in a time of heightened uncertainty, which requires a mindset of adaptability, so make no mistake about it, this is an iterative process that should be used proactively rather than reactively.
4 IDEAS FOR THRIVING DURING AND IN A POST PANDEMIC WORLD
Here are four great articles from some of the best brain trusts in the world:
STRATASCENSION was founded on the notion that business is relational and growth is achieved through the deepening of all the micro connections between people, process, tools, & performance. We want to help small businesses enhance these connections and leverage them for transformation.
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