Be a provident leader: 3 tips to avoid lagging behind in the future

new normal Sep 07, 2020

Dear fellow leader,

Imagine if you could embrace change with more enthusiasm and turn resistance to change into change enthusiasm? This is why I want to ask you whether you have considered the following: Is cynicism and short term thinking the way to success? Just the opposite, in my opinion. We need to be provident leaders, and therefore you get 3 tips on on how to avoid lagging behind in the future.

After a talk at conference some years ago I challenged one of Norway's leading industry leaders on this topic. After some back and forth, he gave me what I understood was the short, simple and honest answer: “Short term it pays off to be cunning and manipulative, long term it doesn't”.

Myself I've had the opportunity to contemplate how the cowboy approach pay off, to a certain extent, in a company. Many years can go by before you see the results, but then fortunately it all ends. Sadly, on the way much harm has been done, because it is not sustainable.

This has prompted me to reflect on whether kind leaders cannot tackle or push heavy change processes? Is cynicism really all what counts? Is it possible to combine masculine and feminine qualities to embrace change with more enthusiasm?

3 tips to avoid lagging behind in the future

The time has come to mobilize more sustainable systems and leadership in professional life. I want to share 3 tips on how:

  1. Established convictions on what sustainability is, needs to be challenged. Dialogue needs facilitation and new understanding needs establishing. Sustainable strategies are being developed.
  2. Systems for internally sustainable leadership needs to be upgraded as an extension to the strategy.
  3. Businesses need to actively facilitate leaders taking care of themselves. Encouragement is not enough.

Below, I share more reflections and perspectives on what I mean by this;

Businesses are complex systems where sustainable leadership needs to be a responsibility shared among all: owners, board, senior leadership, leaders and other co-worker groups.

Organizations need, as sustainable leadership systems, to take responsibility for their leaders, and not just encouraging the leaders to take care of themselves. Find inspiration to wellbeing with likeminded here.

What is the day-to-day of leaders like?

Leaders with the key role of leading or promoting change typically take the lead in and implement new strategies. They are to effectivize AND handle problems that surface when unhandled issues come to light. Commercial leaders must additionally meet customers with energy, develop customer relations and secure loyal customers. To deliver both top and bottom line, and at the same time survive as a human, is a high-risk sport. Often with no suitable support in place.

Dedicated leaders with fewer resources try to stay positive and deliver according to the expectations of increased production with less resources. They walk the extra mile. This is a form of considerable emotional pressure and stress, difficult to cope with over time.

We see that the leaders' inspiring drive, the engagement and dedication to practice good leadership often vanishes. They lose focus on building healthy cultures and meaningful communities when resources are cut back. At the same time, implementation plans are to be carried out by unreasonable deadlines. Such processes and systems do not promote cooperation either. To survive as humans, leaders must reduce their roles FROM being leaders TO administrators.

In the end, leadership can only be sustainable when the system includes leaders. When leaders become administrators, with time many will lose their motivation, thrive and ambitions in their position. They will orient towards other possibilities. No position is worth paying for with one's health. It is important to think sustainable career.

Many systems not built on sustainable principles need that change activists challenge the established ways. They exploit the nostalgic feelings with leaders and key persons that cling to the memory of what worked well before, and leverage power in position to protect allied teammates. Operating this way carries a great risk of ending up lagging behind in the future. Many senior leadership groups will benefit from external input. You are welcome to request a  – optimize team effort workshop HERE.

For the future we need to direct the attention toward the fact that sustainable needs to be made a priority. This is fundamental to succeed in a new reality.

Good luck!

Best regards, Randi

 

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