Apr 29 2020| Leadership | crisis
Leaders Don't Just React in a Crisis, they Initiate
What are you creating?
by Phil Eyre Founder
May’s edition of Business Brief is now out, featuring the latest article in my leadership series.
These challenging times have shown that good leaders take the initiative, they don’t just react in a crisis. Good leaders can help organisations to create new actions and new processes that improve the lives of the people they serve.
The word “initiate” has its root in the Latin for “beginning”, and in the midst of a crisis, it might seem counterintuitive to be thinking about initiative and beginnings, but that’s precisely what leadership demands.
Leaders must harness creative skill to initiate products, services, processes, actions and more that enhance other people’s lives. This is especially so in a crisis; the best leaders are fast initiators and that requires creative thinking.
Creative thinking to solve problems
Creativity is a wonderful human quality; leaders don’t so much react to a fast-changing environment as create. Rather than simply amplifying new information, they conceive new ways of being and doing that were previously not needed or not imagined.
Creativity in a crisis is closely linked to resilience. This might sound at first like a contradiction, as resilience is, in essence, our ability to handle losses. Resilient leaders are more able to take the initiative.
They are able to recognise that what once was is now no more, and rather than hold fast to products, practices and presumptions they let them pass, focusing their energy instead into initiating new ideas and solutions for the changed environment.
We have observed this across the Channel Islands over recent weeks. Some inspiring examples include:
The gifts business that redesigned its products, recognising new demand from people working from home, with a 300% increase in sales. They’ve also experienced an increase in productivity despite - perhaps because - their people are working from home.
Creativity like this is not the preserve of those with executive titles - it never has been, although the reality is, in a crisis, it is those in positions of authority who must take these ideas and bring them to life. Leaders who are unable or unwilling to do so should step aside and make room for those who are.
Leaders’ expertise in psychometrics means we can quickly identify whether you or your team is likely to react or initiate, if they can think creatively or if they pre-disposed to a constrained response.
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