I think it goes without saying that the last 100 days have been anything but normal. We have seen disruption to our personal lives, our work lives and with that, disruption to all of the routines that we have relied on for years if not decades.
All that being said, the last 100 days have also presented an opportunity for us to rethink the way in which we live, the way in which we work, and an opportunity to make the necessary adjustments and regain a new sense of balance.
Personally, over the last few months, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how to manage through this change myself and also thinking about how to help my leaders and their teams to adapt to manage through this. I thought it would be helpful to share these with you.
1. Empathy comes first always – in this time, more than ever, empathy must come first in every conversation. “Seek to understand before seeking to be understood” – Stephen Covey
2. Energy stores are generated by Self, Family, Work in that order – Focus in your own health and your family bond in order to supercharge the energy available at work. I like this article from Inc. that touches on why your personal and mental health needs to always come first.
3. Perspective helps people process change – maximize your exposure to a wide array of opinions, including ones that fly directly in the face with what you believe. Challenge your thinking and create new opinions. Share your learnings with your teams.
4. Remote leadership presents challenges – evolve your format to solve them – Don’t simply leverage zoom as a platform for your meetings, evolve the way you conduct meetings to drive more remote engagement, remote participation and most importantly remote collaboration – think about breakout rooms, post-it notes and whiteboard functionality to really change the experience. This blog from Slack outlines a few of these ideas and how to integrate them into your cadence.
5. Create and Integrate podcasts to break-through monotony of webinars. In my opinion thoughtful dialogue delivered via podcast provides a different forum than conference calls or lecture based webinars and within my organization overall knowledge and learnings have dramatically improved. One of the things I love best about the podcast format is how easy it is to access them on my mobile device and having the choice to listen to just the audio or get a richer experience with video.
6. Ruthlessly Prioritize – Focus on what is important, eliminate “busy work” with no tangible outcomes and help your teams prioritize outcomes over activity. Inspect the outcomes, not the tasks. I still come back to eisenhower matrix as a valuable tool to prioritize my time. This blog does a great job of explaining it.
7. Get beyond the walls of your office – Get out of your home office, enjoy nature, listen to a podcast, or even take a call the “old school” way while walking around the neighborhood. Video conferencing an incredible technology but it is not intended to replace every other form of communication. I decide at the beginning of every day which meetings I can move “off video” to give myself some time to get outside and also some time to get “off camera”.
8. OVER Communicate to your teams with an emphasis on WHY – Help your teams connect every announcement or corporate change with the relevance to your organization and why it matters. In case you haven’t heard of Simon Sinek and “Start with Why” it is definitely worth watching this 5 mins summary.
9. Cut yourself some slack – This is hard and not every idea you try is going to work. Be honest with yourself and your teams about what is working and what is not. Don’t be afraid to show humility. We are going through 10 years of change in <12 months and there are bound to be bumps along the road.
Hope you have enjoyed these! Ild love to hear your thoughts and anything you have learned along the way….
One thought on “9 things I’ve learned about Leadership in the last 100 days…”
Very well written Shawn, 1 thing that stood out for me is <> with your team(s). Communication is not only is a great tool when you work globally but also helps you gain trust when you share it in all confidence with the team. I also believe diversifying your skills / sharpening your saw are equally important, this not only gives you a different prospective but also makes you think more strategically.
Thanks and keep blogging