Overview: What leadership challenges are persistent? What leadership techniques are you willing to question? What new leadership techniques are you willing to try? What obstacles are anticipated?
I'm curious during this time where change has been even faster and rules are shifting even more frequently how have you seen those you work with lead differently or what have you learned about leading your business to survive and even thrive?
Courage to lead and to doing "right" vs. being "right" is what I am trying to learn and see in others. It helps if we can learn to listen without being obsessed to respond to constant criticism. I am choosing to consider that sometimes criticism is really a "cry" for help...
That is really interesting the idea that criticism is really a cry for help. What makes you say that?
Criticism may cause the person that is being criticized to "feel" defensive. If one responds defensively (or offensively) it might be heard by the person doing the criticizing - or it may not. So try defending if you wish - however - out of curiosity might one also consider that the person doing the "criticizing" might actually be upset about something else and you just happened to be in the wrong (or perhaps right)place at the wrong (or perhaps right) time.
My experience reinforces my behavior as when I hear "cry for help" vs. disagreement - I become much more empathetic and this allows the conversation to be shifted by the other person to the real matter that is bothering them.
Leaders need to widen their lenses to avoid taking the bait, being distracted by the criticism, and missing the cues. As tempting as it may be to spend time defending, leaders need to shift to a perspective with priorities and continual realignment to get the next 6-months – year right and thrive.
True leadership is defined not by how you act when everything is going your way, rather it’s how you react when everything isn’t. I’ve learned when a leader engages in the small things (encouragement, inspiration, respect, and tolerance – the lessons learned in kindergarten) the biggest difference is made over time.
How is leadership evidenced when clarity or consensus is not evident - or perhaps not desired by a significant component of the entity that is being lead?
Are clarity and consensus requirements or simply "data points" for a leader?
How does a leader decide/lead when there is no clarity or consensus related to the decision?
Are there better options than "kick the can" or "point a finger at someone else?"
Could it be that part of the role of a leader is to make decisions amidst ambiguity? Maybe the leader has to surround him or herself with people who think differently while respectful and will help bring enough data and clarity to make the best possible decision with what is known in as quick a timeframe as is reasonable.
For leaders, clarity of one’s own individual purpose and the understanding of one’s organization’s purpose are requirements. With these in alignment, an environment of empowerment and opportunity is created that catalyzes productivity. In my opinion, consensus comes from a leader using inspiration, combined with determination, to create transformation. It is difficult for a leader to decide/lead when there is no clarity. This type of leadership will encounter numerous challenges, like pushing a rock up a steep hill.
With the current divide in the country, how does that play out in the workplace and what is the role of the leader to recognize and/or minimize the polarity?
That is a great question. Would the leader's role be to minimize the polarity or could it be that the leader's role is to cast a vision of an even greater purpose to keep the team unified and focused on the more important issues that they can control?
I believe you need to use the workplace as somewhere to have common purpose and somewhere they understand how the role they play contributes to overall success.
I also use my improv training to help people find common ground and teach this to various organizations. Often, people need tools to help people find common ground between managers and associates, different functions as examples.