Guest Blog — Jeff Weigh on Leadership During Tough Times

Leadership is only really tested during the tough times. When everything is going well and success is aplenty, leadership can feel effortless and easy.

Tough times call for flexibility in thinking and adaptability in approach. What has worked in the past has now been challenged and doesn’t guarantee the same results.

I recall my days at M&S Money when someone was explaining stocks and shares to me. The phrase that resonated and stuck with me was:

“Past performance is no guarantee of future success.”

There’s risk attached to every investment that you make.

The last 12 months have shown this to be true when it comes to making decisions about your organisation and most importantly, your people.

Since you’ve been invited into people’s new workplaces (their homes) it’s imperative that you continue to put them at the forefront of your conversations. Listening and empathy are vital.

Continuing with an enquiring approach, asking how they are feeling and doing whilst taking the time to listen, should be prioritised ahead of pushing on with your own agenda.

These conversations are valuable for a couple of reasons:

  1. They provide information about the ‘here and now’ for each of your people. Sometimes it’s good and other times not so good. This is the reality for each of us as we adapt to the new challenges that come along, sometimes daily.
  2. They provide a rich insight into the personal values of everyone in your organisation. What’s important to every employee is now on display like never before and this can be observed through behaviours demonstrated and confirmed when you listen to the language of what your people prioritise.

For example:

  1. The person who requests to start their working day later so that they can go for a run or exercise in the morning, is prioritising their own well-being. From a values perspective health and well-being is important to them.
  2. The person who requests to finish their working day earlier and respond to emails in the evening so that they can have time with their children and partner, is prioritising time with their family. From a values perspective family is important to them.

Personal values have always been important to people. What’s happened over the last 12 months is that they’ve become even more important to people. The fascinating insight is that some peoples’ personal values have shifted during that time too. If you need confirmation of this, ask your people how many of them would prefer to continue to work from home in the future instead of returning to the office!

Generally, leaders have done a pretty good job in the first instance of understanding the ‘here and now’ of their people, supporting them through these uncertain times.

The opportunity as we look to pivot or shift into a new way of working in the future is to explore with your people, what the important values are for them:

“Past performance is no guarantee of future success.”

Jeff’s mission is to help organisations develop emotionally intelligent leaders who can empower and enable their people to be more effective in work and in life. With 17 years experience inspiring leaders to grow their businesses and motivate their people, Jeff has the knowhow when it comes to making the changes that matter. Click here to start your journey to a better connected team with Jeff today.

PepTalk is the motivation platform built for modern teams that creates motivational moments powered by real-world experts.

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