Navigating your organization through transformation requires visionary, empathetic and creative leadership. But such disruption can set off your survival instincts, causing you to fight, flee or freeze when you need to focus on making decisions, says a recent article from McKinsey & Co.
Here are some personal practices that can meaningfully contribute to the mindset needed for leadership effectiveness during transformative times:
Pause to move faster. Leaders need to create space for clear judgment, original thinking and speedy, purposeful action. When you reach an impasse, take a moment to step away from the challenge so you can find new ways of responding. Consider daily meditation, a 10-minute walk or just a few minutes of deep breathing to help you refocus.
Embrace your ignorance. Listening—and thinking—from a place of not knowing can help to encourage breakthrough ideas. Gather your team and list your assumptions about what might have caused the problem at hand. Ask for their input and be willing to listen carefully and openly. Do they see things differently?
Set direction, not destination. Don’t simply tell your team to move from point A to point B. Set a meaningful, values-based direction for the company to give your team a context for your decisions.
Test your solutions—and yourself. Remember that quick, cheap failures can avert major, costly disasters. Create “safe to fail” experiments and reward learning. Testing fast and small ensures that you can respond quickly to technological shifts or changed market conditions.
See the full McKinsey & Co. article: “Leading with inner agility.”