Jill Birch on Leading from Emergency to Emergence
It can be easy to lose sight of the long term when there’s so much focus on dealing with the problems and concerns right in front of us. But, in this strange moment filled with both stasis and rapid change, there is also a chance to take stock and make new plans for what’s to come.
In a piece published earlier this month on LinkedIn, leadership and change expert Jill Birch wrote about the idea of transitioning from being an emergency leader to an emergence leader. She likens our current situation to that of being in a maze, where we find dead ends and can easily lose track of our place. However, Jill writes, eventually we will emerge from the maze and should prepare to face the next challenge.
According to Jill, there are five behaviours good leaders should focus on as we move to the next stage of life during this pandemic:
- Willingness to Pause: In a time where it feels like we need to make immediate actions, it’s important for a leader to take stock of all options and gather perspective before making decisions.
- Compression: Becoming comfortable handling multiple roles/tasks at once. Jill compares this to the idea of becoming a decathlon athlete, someone who can switch between various skills almost instantaneously.
- Trust: While many leaders are second guessing whether people are really working while at home, the proof that almost everyone is as productive as ever is already there. Instead pivot to granting trust as a starting point, rather than demanding others earn your trust. Flexibility often increases performance.
- Pragmatic Humanity: There are plenty of hard choices ahead, so we must temper our pragmatism with humanity. Mistakes will happen—try to be understanding and be prepared with alternatives.
- Guarding the Future: The most successful leaders are preparing themselves and their organizations for the long haul, making sure they are adaptive, innovative, and as healthy as possible to survive.
Jill Birch helps audiences master 21st century leadership skills, going beyond today’s jargon and stereotypes to show what’s really needed to innovate and compete in today’s marketplace. Jill has been a CEO and member of several C-Suites and has facilitated leadership breakthroughs for Fortune 500 organizations around the world. Drawing on this experience, her captivating and customized presentations help inspire change, build leadership capacity, and drive competitive advantage.
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