Thursday, 7 May 2009

Managing in turbulent times

A recent article on Nationalpost by Ray Williams titled the Leaders Edge in Tough Times refered to 'rapid turbulent changes' creating the "perfect storm" for leaders in the 21st Century.

He cites that leaders must have a strong personal connection in their visions and an unshakeable belief that stratgies can be implemented and that the vision survives and endures.

The best leaders have certain qualities in common during tough times:

- ability to see beyound current reality
- inegration of empathy for others and energy that aligns other to their cause
- ability to view all events with optimism and a positive frame of mind.

I would add a fourth quality:

- Never stop communicating.

Great leaders are often energised by challenges.

Pessimists are more likely to view an event they see negatively as the begining to a spiral of more negative events and become more close minded. Optimists see the same situation as only temporary and the future full of possibilities.

Optimists build resiliency, which is a character of great leaders. Optimistic leaders cope better with setbacks much better than pessimistic leaders.

Optimistic leaders energise their people with dreams of a better future (President Obama's "Yes we can", Dr Martin Luther King's "I have a dream").

However, Williams goes onto suggest that leaders can improve their optimism and positivity, which I've built upon to create a 'lucky' 13:

1. Develop and Optimistic interpretation of the current reality
2. Reframe the current situation
3. Connect your view of the future to your core beliefs
4. Look at the bigger picture, not just the accumulation of small snapshots
5. Foster emotional resilience in others
6. Contain the negative impact as temporary
7. Control what's in your power and don't worry about what's not
8. Engage others - as often as possible (don't hide behind closed doors)
9. Ensure the atmosphere around you is positive
10. Embrace change - change happens get used to it!
11. Visualise success
12. Don't give up.
13. Time to evaluate whether you have the right people on The Bus

'optimistic and positive leaders are needed, and the rest of us have a duty, not just to support them, but insist on that kind of leadership'. Ray Williams

4 comments:

Vinicius Callegari - vcallegari@bfbr.com.br said...

Outstanding Article!

Mainly in turbulent times, well suceed leaders have been motivating theirs teams through a vision and implementation of a great future aligned with peolpe´s wish.

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Sergey said...

Great comments from Matthew! I liked optimism part a lot!

I'd probably add few other qualities of best leaders in turbulent times:

- they meet any 'difficulty' with great joy and open hands, and treat it as great lesson opportunity.
This is part of their 'big picture' view.
- They also have huge TRUST and faith in themselves and people around
- Their sharing and contribution to others multiplies in difficult situations, but with greater modesty
- they emision LIGHT every second, every day

Mike Myatt said...

I think communication is always key. Simple and concise is better than complicated and confusing, during the turbulent times or the smooth times.

@mikemyatt

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