Archive for March 2020

This week I'm sharing lessons from the most challenging week of my career (and quite frankly, I had it easy compared to so many). When I’m talking challenges, I’m talking about leadership challenges faced by people I’m proud to call clients and friends. Let’s start with the word – leadership.

This past week I participated with phenomenal teams who stared into an uncertain future and led.

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When lamenting unforeseen and adverse events, my momma Michelli was prone to say, “I would never wish this on anyone, but now that it’s here, what are we to do?”

Not surprisingly, during the past week, my mind has searched for “momisms,” “dadisms,” and the wisdom of the ages, to cope with uncertainty like none I’ve encountered in my lifetime. Leveraging off my mom’s aforementioned phrase, I’ve been reflecting on this question – what can we learn and do in the face of this Pandemic?

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For years now, I have been equating leadership with managing in a VUCA world.

While the acronym VUCA has origins in Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus’ 1985 book titled Leaders – The Strategies for Taking Charge, the first use of the acronym occurred a couple of years later in Army War College documents. As you likely know, VUCA refers to navigating a world replete with:

Volatility

Uncertainty

Complexity, and

Ambiguity

In continuation of my series on leading transformational human experiences in uncertain times, I’ve been struck by how well VUCA describes the challenges that leaders face in the context of the coronavirus.

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I’m in the throes of difficult planning sessions with clients as they seek to communicate with and ready themselves to care for their team members and customers in a time of heightened uncertainty associated with the coronavirus. For some clients, these conversations revolve around possible disruptions in a supply chain; for others, it takes the form of remote sales strategies or enabling team members to work from home.

Maybe I am unusually lucky, but in contrast to political leaders who can get bogged down in blaming their opposition for problems, the people with whom I work are spending all of their time looking for solutions on behalf of their team members and customers. I thought I would share some of these strengths in the hope that they will be of benefit to you.

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