We Are Not Powerless In The Face of Uncertainty

Despite years of experience managing a wide range of challenges, nothing has prepared any of us for the circumstances of this moment in time. Without a playbook to reference, you and other leaders around the globe have been rising to the occasion to keep your organizations stable and your employees safe. 

While we don’t have any solid information on what will happen in the next two weeks, two months, or two years – we do know that at some point we will emerge into a post-pandemic world and that we must somehow plan today for this uncertain future.  

Even though the future is foggy, we are not powerless. We can reduce the negative emotions of rapid transitions by planning for what the future could look like. Anyone hoping to take power from the pandemic needs a Plan A, Plan B, Plan C and possibly a Plan D.

Planning and prioritizing is the work of worrying. Through planning possible future plans and prioritizing those future plans, we become powerful.

While we can’t peer into a crystal ball, we know that this pandemic will end and that at this moment in time, we need to have one foot in the present and one foot in the future. We need to manage now and provide alternative views of the future so we can take the door that opens up to us.

Build Back Better

As we look at getting the best return on our investment, effective managers and strategic leaders will help us BUILD BACK BETTER and calm the chaos.

We are standing on a plateau and we have time to evaluate what is happening in our companies.

With great managers and leaders, we will:

        Be more efficient

        Streamline processes and procedures

        Stop the duplication of efforts

        Find ways to leverage technology

In the efforts to become powerful, reboot productivity, and build back better, I’d like to focus on the 3rd level, Rational Alignment, of the Discretionary Effort Leadership Model illustrated below. The Discretionary Effort Pyramid is explained fully in my book, How to Earn the Gift of Discretionary Effort. 

Rational means intellectually, in our minds, we understand.

Alignment is a position of agreement or alliance. We are in sync with each other.

We align the tires on our car to reduce excessive wear and provide a better ride. We go to the chiropractor for periodic alignment of our spines.

An unknown fact for most humans, is that a magnet is powerful because the electrons are aligned. They are not allowed to aimless wander at will.

Rationally Align Employees

The principle holds true for employees. Don’t let them wander at will. Rationally align them by:

  • Setting forth a vibrant picture of the future
  • Outlining goals with definite steps
  • Making clear assignments to individuals

Then the individual can CHOOSE to:

  • Agree with the mission and purpose
  • Recognize alignment with personal purpose and values
  • Say “I can intellectually and emotionally support the direction of the company and my assignments.”

 Communicate Vision

The next step is to communicate the vision and goal multiple times, not just once.  I learned this when I read Harvard professor John P. Kotter’s book, Leading Change.

Kotter gives us these statistics: The total amount of communication going to an employee in three months equals 2,300,000 words or numbers. The typical communication of a change vision [or goal] over a period of three months equals 13,400 words or numbers. That is the equivalent of one 30-minute speech, one hour-long meeting, one 600-word article in the company’s newsletter or one 2,000-word memo. The vision captures only .58 percent of the communication market share.

When we share our vision once, we think our employees understand and their productivity it focused on that goal.   Yet our words are only .58 percent of the avalanche of information dumping into their brains. The goal – the vision of the future – must be repeated. The vision of a needed change, a picture of the finished product, and a clear deadline for completion, must be at the forefront of their thinking.

As your vision is communicated in every conversation, every email, every team meeting, etc., you will successfully focus your employees and rationally align them in our Covid-19 pandemic disrupted world.

You will get a powerful reboot of productivity.

Book a Complimentary Coaching Session

In a complimentary coaching session, I can zero in on your talents and help you work from your natural skills as a leader. Book your session: https://calendly.com/karlabrandau

About Karla

Karla Brandau is a 25-year veteran of the speaking and training industry. She offers DISC, Driving Forces and Emotional Intelligence assessments combined with training events and retreats.

The assessments are a component in her leadership development courses. Her book, “How to Earn the Gift of Discretionary Effort,” positions her as a thought leader and expert in re-calibrating leadership for the 21st century and enables employees to give discretionary effort on a regular basis.

Her presentations help managers become the leader people CHOOSE to follow not HAVE to follow because of their place on the organization chart.

She has spoken for Coca-Cola Enterprises, Panasonic, BYD America, National Facilities Management and Technology Conference, US Poultry and Egg Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Kitchen and Bath Association.  

Certifications include Certified Speaking Professional, Certified Facilitator, Registered Corporate Coach, Certified Professional Behaviors Analyst, and Certified Professional Motivators Analyst.

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