Confident in Uncertainty?
The time and energy to build resilient leadership in yourself and others can only really be found at times of routine and low pressure. Periods of calm present the perfect opportunity to be inclusive (so people are well informed), open and honest about mistakes (so that people learn), and to share responsibility widely (so that people are accountable). Time invested in this way will mean you are proactively creating a culture of commitment, ownership and loyalty that will see you through any uncertainty.
If you’re trying to do this during turmoil, your stable door has been left open, and the horse is long gone!
In ‘Resilience for Sustainable, Inclusive Growth’, Bob Sternfeld, Global Managing Partner at McKinsey & Co and Borge Brende, President of World Economic Forum, bring into stark contrast and bang up-to-date what RLE has been advocating since 2000. That is, truly resilient leaders focus on developing emotional and cognitive intelligence in themselves and others when things are calm so that relationships are strong enough to withstand a crisis.
Their call is for a framework that ‘prioritises human capacity above all’, something that gives leaders the means to deal with constant change, uncertainty and even contingent events:
‘The prerequisite for a coordinated, systematic approach to resilience is a common resilience framework. Such a framework, similar to environmental, social, and governance (ESG), would provide organizations with a common resilience language, structure, and objectives. It would also provide guidance on how to protect and enhance sustainability and inclusiveness in an environment of more frequent crises and disruptions.’
The Resilient Leaders Elements was created to build resilient leadership muscle that helps withstand the negative impact of sustained uncertainty. The means to measure this development and its impact is built into the Resilient Leaders Development Programme (RLDP™).
1. Clarity of Direction: Having a vision and a realistic strategy for the future, communicating effectively to align people to your vision and having the determination to keep going in the face of adversity: Preparation in this element means that people know where they are going, why they are going there, and they know you are determined to succeed. Individuals can work out what to do to get to the end point.
2. Awareness: Appreciation of your own and others' motivations, cultures, strengths and weaknesses and using this knowledge to adapt to the forces that affect your changing environment: Preparation in this element means that everyone, including you, works at their best, resulting in higher productivity and motivation. Diversity is appreciated and used to the benefit of all. Systems and processes serve people in achieving their goals. What the report says in this regard:
3. Resilient Decision Making: Being able to take a valuable idea from concept to reality, challenging your own and other’s biases and considering the impact, pace and style of your decision-making: Preparation in this element means that biases are challenged, and learning is embedded so that great decisions are made at the right time, with the right people, in the right place. Contingency options are always available so that the unexpected can be dealt with effectively and confidently.
4. Leadership Presence: Being true to yourself, your values and ethical code, being in service to others and bringing a focus and bias for achievement to your organisation and others around you: Preparation in this element means you have “presence” even when you’re not in the room. The best person takes the lead and is fully supported by all around them, leading to greater effectiveness and better results.
Check out our Webinar on Leading in Uncertainty, and get in touch if you’d like to learn more.