2020 is a year that challenges us to rethink our approach to leadership, teams and organisation culture. The future of leadership is not exactly what most people assumed pre Covid.
Many leaders need to be braver than ever and make tougher decisions than they expected. And they may have to reshape organisations to take them to their best for the “post Covid” rebirth of the economy.
As we often hear, what we need more than anything, right now, is courage in leadership.
Spectacular challenges, Bravery And Powerful Lessons
In 1987, I was waiting for 2 buses on a remote part of the Snowy River in North-East Victoria. And I was scared.
Yes, here I was, a tough Outward Bound instructor – scared.
The buses, one coming from Melbourne and the other coming from Canberra, were bringing several people with disabilities. They were coming to the Snowy River to participate in our first ‘Mixed ability’ program. In fact we were running the very first program of this kind in Australia.
Disabilities included quadriplegia, hearing impairment, cerebral palsy and brain injury. Meanwhile, I too had a disability: I was totally underestimating how much impact this program would have on my life and the life of the others in the group.
On top of that challenge, I had taken the massive risk of inviting a journalist! Later, James Button wrote an outstanding account of the journey in The Age “Willing & Able”.
Being brave certainly increases the heart rate! Equally it increases our learning; not to mention it extends our chance to challenge the status quo, and our ability to better serve others effectively.
Minimal Distraction, Maximum Learning
I always admire the bravery that our clients show when they take their teams out of their comfort zones.
Take Peter for example, a long-term client of mine, always keen to build strong collaboration in his lead team.
Wayne, I’d like you to provide a learning environment that has minimal distractions. That way, we can maximise the opportunity for some tough conversations that need to happen.
That was a brave commitment to build the future of leadership that his business needed and his teams deserved.
So we ended up designing a program that took us to the heart of the Grampians in Western Victoria. And it delivered the effect we wanted: Indeed, several key conversations surfaced, many around the campfire with a wine or beer where the air was cleared. Once again, nature showed what a great healer it is.
That event proved to be a turning point for that business. After the program, a ‘Team of Professionals’ was now more a ‘Professional Team’. They were getting stuff done collaboratively. And they had dared to be vulnerable.
Dare To Lead
“The Future of Leadership belongs to the Brave” was one of the key messages that Leadership coach Brené Brown delivered recently. In fact, the title of her new book is “Dare to Lead”.
You lean in, you are brave, you get your arse kicked a little bit. Daring leaders are never silent about hard things.
– Brené Brown
Brown says there are many barriers to bravery at work – including a fear of tough conversations, ignoring fears and feelings, getting stuck in setbacks, seeking to solve problems through immediate action, not working towards inclusivity, diversity and equity, and a culture of shame and blame.
Does Your Business Enable Tough Conversations?
How much courage does your business really encourage? Courage to speak up, courage to challenge the status quo, courage to bring the conversation from out of the car park and into the workplace.
So, how much are you doing to support and drive the future of leadership? And how much more could you dare to do?
So, if you are looking for a more open workplace of trust, one that encourages those valuable tough conversation, we can make a difference right now. We have designed our customised virtual programs for maximum effectiveness while Covid-19 limits our opportunities to enjoy a good campfire and outdoor activities!
Wayne Dyson, Bridgeworks – 0402 300 999