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When The Worst Happens Simply Turn Around

Certainly, easier said than done…but the power of the solution lies in its simplicity. The previous article asked the question, what will you do when the worst happens? We are in virgin territory with no precedent and no proven process. Yet, the ONLY way for a solution to become proven requires it to be simple and replicatable. When a solution is simple and repeatable, then it becomes powerful when it can be executed practically. This formula is the underpinning context of the Elegant Leader with Voltage platform. I’m giving you the blueprint below on how to Turn Your Situ Around to execute now and emerge better, stronger and healthier from your current business environment. There are Four Culture Principles that are undeniable in turning your Culture around:

TURN 1:  Vision of the Future. We answer a greater ‘WHY’ or purpose of what our contribution is as an organization and collectively as a group of employees to society and the world.

TURN 2:  Provide Continuity. Our shared values and shared learning experiences teach us to copy, coach and adopt a mindset to pass on the knowledge and wisdom we’ve gained.

TURN 3:  Determine Social Position. Our very survival as human beings is dependent on relationships and building community through our shared identity, roles versus power and your influence creating a sense of belonging.

TURN 4:  Reduce Insecurity. By copying, adopting or complying within the group or organization, we adopt behaviors of ‘this is how we’re expected to work together.’

 

Leading out of crisis, whether an internal influence or an external force such as global pandemic and human inequality, requires the leaders in the organization to turn from what was ineffective and inappropriate around to what is noble, right and good.

Here’s 5 elements of predictability to adopt in transition and evolution from where you are or were to where you know you must go…what becomes possible when your people turn around with you.

One: Create Predictable Reassurance

Information is like blood pumping through your veins. Comunicating information in a clear, concise and compelling manner minimizes the employee population losing heart, focus and productivity. Predictably provide information. Establish new comms channels with a fresh cadence for communication to your organization. Set the tone – set aside one day, one time frame for 18 minutes to let everyone know a live video call outlining the latest information you have. There are no mushrooms (remember when you kept everyone in the dark and threw some shit on them to pacify them) – well no more! Here’s where we are – share the state of the business, acknowledge how people on teams are going above and beyond to serve each other, your customers, vendor partners, etc. Predictability reassures your organization there is one less thing to worry about

Two: Lead With Predictability 

Lead the business! Run the business with predictability! Businesses today are designed with processes, systems and automation to optimize efficiency. Today, right now – executing with perfection is not of most importance! Evolving daily, seeking to reestablish what  ‘business as usual’ is to look like moving forward is more important. This movement is simple and practical. For it to become powerful, you’re called to lead AND to lead with predictability. Now more than ever, hundreds or thousands of EYEBALLS are upon you. They’re upon you to lead them ‘out of the grey’ and into a new zone of comfort. There are events, tasks, accountabilities and goals that still exist and will need some measure of modification – but they still occur!

Understandably, cost reduction across the board is a major focus right now – paring expenses that are a drag on working capital and free cash flow. Communicate your decisions, and minimize surprises! Your people don’t like surprises especially when the times are unpredictable…and you don’t like surprises either.

Three: Predictably Celebrate

Small wins matter especially now! Celebrate predictably and with purpose the progress made. Progress being made every hour somewhere in the business. Find the progress, the results and celebrate them.  The winners identify and communicate this progress as part of their daily routine. We’ve gone in depth about how Leading Elegantly is a matter of biology not psychology and the role EDSO (endorphins, dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin) plays in your employees responses to your lead. Celebration and appreciation cause our brains to increase the flow of dopamine – how we feel pleasure and pain – contributing to how we Thrive. When more people are functioning this way, you create powerful momentum others see and feel, even when working remotely.

Four: Controlling Predictability

You’re called to clearly define what can and cannot be controlled. It’s more Art than Science! It’s delicate, in that COVID-19 and the ensuing economic dropoff, no individual leader can control. However, the winners know what they are in control of, and convey these elements specifically to their teams. We are already seeing the winners coaching their teams to clearly articulate and differentiate what they can control and what they can’t by taking the next step and predictably focusing on what they can control. As people make progress on the controllables, highlight and reinforce those achievements. REPEAT STEPS ONE, TWO AND THREE, and to make progress communicates control to a degree while reducing fear. 

Communicate the ‘what’ and relax already about the ‘how’ by allowing processes and tools to frame how the work gets done. The what dimension is specific to each business. Yet it’s the how dimension that has the greatest impact during times of uncertainty. Allowing space for the how is how winners create a sense of control. Control is in short supply when the enterprise is stretched thin by such an event as what the world has experienced! Stop forcing square into round…breathe!

We’re seeing exponential success where processes are being optimized on front-line operations delivering as good if not better service to customers (end users, distributors, etc.). The front-line is adjusting capacity to meet demand. They are proving their processes and tools are working, in turn helping their employees to feel within control. The result is also a more confident, empowered and engaged population while removing uncertainty.

Five: Contribute Value Predictably

Finally, get everyone involved reaffirming your employees matter! Your people’s contribution adds value and makes a difference – TELL THEM! Ask them WHO they’re working for. There’s some form of lockdown to millions of people in our country. There’s power in showing up, determined and focused amidst uncertainty. Minimize that uncertainty by being a predictable leader! This is more than creating a sense of purpose and a source of pride. It comes down to knowing and trusting your employees to make the right decision, because they can! The weaselspeak we’ve heard has a tendency to sound as ‘management’ embracing an ‘entrepreneurial initiative’ – STOP with the trivial BS that makes you feel better about your lead. It’s not about you! It’s about your people succeeding through adversity.

Keep it simple, practical – if someone has a smart idea on how to fix an issue, let’em run with it, put in a few guardrails and let’em do it. No committees, no @#$% PowerPoints. Trust smart people and encourage them working together to make smart decisions. And when it works, celebrate it and send the message that everyone is empowered to impact the operation. And if it doesn’t work, celebrate the attempt, learn from it, share the learning both ways and move on.

Ask the question and then seek answers to the question: “What can we achieve?”

Amidst the scramble to stay relevant and adjust to new conditions, effective leaders must paint a shared picture of why their company should exist  and how it can create a positive impact today and in a post-COVID-19 world. This is not just a nice-to-do exercise, It’s a must do! Inviting everyone to be a part of attaining this aspiration is a powerful way to get results and mitigate fear. The winners know this, and will race out of a depression faster with everyone aligned around the impact they are going to have. Higher productivity doesn’t get people excited. Making a difference does, and what a story to be able to tell for generations.

Don’t just talk about it – do it! For a limited time with the purchase of The Culture Advantage, for $24.95, I’m including my time at no additional cost to you in guiding you through what your new evolution will or may become. Unlimited email support and up to 5 hours of phone time if you wish. 

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