In my work with leaders and executives with on-purpose organizations, I noticed these three issues that arise when leaders do not let go of the need to be a 'in control.'
Delegate with power
A leader of a group of leaders must delegate with power or else, giving free rein without the full authority to get the job done becomes a sticking point later on. Those who get 'volun-told' need not be afraid to ask for the full authority, not a training opportunity or a practice assignment.
Are you still in control while delegating the work to others? When you leave the work to your capable team members, give them the power and authority, give them the broad strokes, and let them create the outcomes that you seek.
Detach from outcomes
Senior leaders have the habit of putting their heads on their team members' plans and targets and watching them over their shoulders. It's important to let go of the need to control their outcomes for them. When they mess up, it's important to get them back again to their objectives and make the mistake a teaching moment.
Hone in on your own leadership style
Nowadays, with all the bad content that you need to copy the power nap of so and so, and the 5am work style of this and that is -people are beginning to be confused about leadership style and personal habits. Leadership style is your own sense of leading others that's based on your values and strategies at it relates to the needs of your followers. Personal habits are not something that can be applicable for everyone. Take it with a grain of salt.
Leaders are made, not born. You can be in control of something but not all things in the organization. Learn to trust your team and begin to see real and positive change in the workplace.
Now that the year is about to end, the perennial institutional reviews kick in.
Leaders are wont to take stock of the wins, misfires, and those things in-between.
With COVID-19, moderate gains are applauded for the reason that things have been tough on many fronts. Going through the year unscathed is an impossibility.
With tighter controls back again since March, the economy will continue to fluctuate based on the reading of the vaccine situation.
Are you prepared to face 2021 with a short-term bridging plan to tide you over until the situation stabilizes?
Are you using your pre-COVID19 strategies to get you by?
Are you being opportunistic and proactive about what's going on and using levers you can use at your disposal?
Are you secured in the belief that it will become better and acting on this hopefulness?
Are your team members aligned with you in your strategies and in the intention to keep looking at the opportunities in this crisis?
If yes, to all of these, 2021 could be a transitional phase for all its intents and purposes. A great year for emergence and renewal.
The old baggage is thrown away, new ideas are welcomed, and being persistently mindful of taking care of ourselves and each other.
What have you learned this year and made you realize that life is what you make of it, not what happens to you?
This applies to everything!
The politics on vaccines is another issue that can potentially escalate into another time-bomb.
We have several vaccines that have promising results for the prevention of the COVID-19 virus. We know that these can take a few months before initial groups of people are monitored and the side effects of the drug are taken into consideration.
We'll have the vaccines as our (Canadian) government committed to this long time ago. Other countries have to wait until it becomes affordable and that preliminary results come out. No one wants to be the guinea pig I suppose.
Vaccines are one thing but equitable distribution, affordability, accessibility and appropriateness of these vaccines to differentiated needs of different populations come into question. Another issue is about the protection of consumers who have elected to use these vaccines under development, which calls for regulation and complete transparency for the public.
We live in ambiguous times. We cannot trust our health systems and authorities that are overwhelmed and overworked to decide for our health, well-being, and safety. Like all systems, when it's saturated, it either collapses on the sheer weight of its load or dissipates into mediocrity/irrelevance.
We also cannot turn a blind eye on the suffering and hardships that are experienced by our neighbors in the developing South. That's why we call on health equity across the board. Those that have multiple vulnerabilities and needs must be given equitable priority and attention and consulted adequately.
Be your own health advocate and become a health advocate for others around you. The world is hyperconnected to risk being the weakest link.
As I am preparing for my presentation next week on Diversity, I thought about what's not diversity.
Diversity is not a thing that can be slapped artificially for the sake of political correctness or guise to protect from lawsuits;
Diversity is not silencing the majority and forcing everyone to think the same;
Diversity is not perfecting preferential treatments or quotas or taking revenge from a century-old injustice;
Diversity is about respecting and celebrating human differences in all of its forms-not just RACE, CLASS, CASTE, ETHNICITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, RELIGION.
Inclusion is about accountability that leads to great bottom lines: more revenue, less negative conflict, more innovation.
Inclusion is fostering a culture that respects, honors, and values diversity in all of its manifestations.
I was in a diversity training room almost a decade ago. A guy spoke up about diversity and inclusion in the office and he said, that I can only 'tolerate.' I'm still not there yet and please, respect that! There was silence in the room. No one commented or made a reaction to it.
I simply recalled this reaction because it also meant respect. Some people believe that it's just a political correct thing. Some are putting a strong push-back against it because they're maligned by it. This is also because some of the way diversity projects are forced into your consciousness are appalling. It doesn't earn respect, it earns more resentment, antagonism, and conflict.
I hear that side of the story too! Aren't we all diverse in on our ways?
It's about time we start treating one another as human beings, not a QRSSTW or a theirs, them, and other identifiers. Cultural intelligence is not some lunch and learns and lip-service HR projects. It's about embracing the full breadth of talents, knowledge, passions, and backgrounds that make the world a better and more interesting place. Pitting one group against the other on the basis of these differences aren't sustainable. It's like saying, 'we are going to riot until we defund the police' which is selfish and irresponsible.
We can't afford to rip apart the society and put it back again magically without further aggravation and dire consequences for the future generations. It's time to look at the overall objectives of our politics and try to find balance and harmony, not tribalism and inept leadership.
I was walking in the snow with my daughter today.
She's leading and would want me to follow her tracks.
When I'm feeling tired, she asked me to push on.
When we get to the top overlooking the yard, she asked me not to look down, whatever happens, or else I might slip.
If I feel am slipping or getting stuck, she would hold my hand and steady me.
She asked me to follow the tracks closely and not to deviate.
She also reminded me not to make my own tracks because she's the bus driver.
She also reassured me that she knows where she's going and that I need to trust her.
When she's doing the loop-to-loop, that means that I have to just go along with the loop.
When it's time to go home, she will lead me home.
She tells me to enjoy and have an adventure.
If you have a firm and confident leader like that, there's nothing you can't do!
Yesterday, I presented a special lecture with Prairie College Business Management students on Fair Trade. As I have been updating myself about this topic, a few headlines grab my attention:
Kitkat withdrawing from Fair Trade
Fairtrade : Is it really fair?
Shocked but not surprised: Fairtrade responds to report of widespread child labor in West African cocoa industry
The system is not perfect but it is working for a lot of farmers, artisans, and producers in the South. The current labelling and certification process for fairtrade has become a million dollar industry. Ethical consumers are beginning to vote with their purchases and this trend will be going to continue in the next 10 years. The question for the actors is that how can we prevent consumer confusion with all these competing claims in the marketplace?
The fairtrade sector is growing at an accelerated rate from $ 1.5M in 2005 to $9.8B in 2018. Yet, fragmenting in many ways due to the crowding of claims within and outside of the ethical/fair markets.
There has been tremendous harmonization of fairtrade. All actors understand, agree, and commit to its principles and standards. In the future, actors must as well agree and commit to growing and evolving fairtrade without compromising its foundational principles but at the same time, honoring its commitments to the broader marketplace.
The heart of true fairtrade lies in the producers and farmers. If they're not benefitted from these initiatives, why would fairtrade exists?