Leading With Yesterday’s Mindset Is The Ultimate Mistake

Leading With Yesterday’s Mindset Is The Ultimate Mistake
B&T Magazine
Edited by B&T Magazine



In this guest post, Lisa Lie, head of people & culture, at Half Dome shares her thoughts on leadership. 

At the start of the year, The Economist described the new era of work as “predictable unpredictability” where “many of the institutions and attitudes that brought stability in the old world look ill-suited to the new.” 

All well and good to say, but what do you do with these kinds of statements? Now we’re nearing the end of 2022, what seem to be the best ways to work with rather than against “predictable unpredictability”? 

I believe the biggest risk isn’t the turbulence itself but leading with yesterday’s mindset and outdated assumptions of how work happens. Yesterday’s leadership style was hallmarked by top-down decision making and pure ‘tell-sell’ communication.  

In the last few months, I’ve noticed a genuine curiosity and vulnerability from many business leaders to step back from the noise and reflect on which parts of their leadership are eroding, enduring, or emerging. They want to understand what really matters at work and what it might mean for navigating a more complex and restless future. They’re reaching out to peers to share ideas and learn new ways to make work happen. 

As Albert Einstein once wrote: “You can’t use an old map to explore a new world.” 

There are some clear, emerging leadership qualities that seem better placed to navigate the turbulence: transparency, inclusivity, collaboration, and experimentation. In practice, this means creating an environment and workflows that allow for ownership and accountability in getting to better results together. 

Some things I’ve explored that have positively impacted how work happens are coaching, co-creating outcomes and adaptive change management.  

  • Coaching: This is the most sustainable skill we can formally develop as leaders to enable individuals and teams to grow. Coaching breaks cycles of reliance and enables people to think differently and act on it. It empowers critical thinking, accountability, and ownership. Leaders wear many hats and it’s important to distinguish when a situation requires coaching or direction. But, when used effectively, I’ve never seen a greater and more immediate impact on an individual’s motivation and performance.  
  • Co-creating outcomes: Just because you have the word ‘leader’ or ‘manager’ in your title doesn’t mean you have all the answers. You have experience you can draw on, but when you bolster this with perspectives and insights from a different group of people, actions become more robust, and teams are aligned and invested in successful outcomes. Using meaningful forums for broader business contribution, whether that be formal, such as Shadow Boards, or informal like Pre-Mortems’ with groups contributing to projects, brings a whole lot of transparency, collaboration, and shared commitment to success to the table. 
  • Change management: Project management focuses on the processes and activities needed to complete a project, whereas change management focuses on the people affected by those projects. If you’re leading people, trying to implement any kind of project requires a change management lens in your planning. Who are the positive outliers? How can I build on what’s worked there? How will I go about building social norms as part of the project milestones? Who will be my advocates? How will I work with detractors? What are the nudges required to make change stick and for people to form new habits relating to my project? If you start with these questions and plan answers to each, you’re on your way to getting to better results together (faster). 

 

These are the ways I’ve found success in uncovering what really matters at work and testing new ways to lead. MIT Sloan management school in the US has also released an assessment for people to find out where their eroding, enduring or emerging leadership skills stand. The more we can challenge our assumptions as leaders and learn new approaches, the better we can adapt and work with “unpredictable predictability”. 




Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Canva Unveils Enterprise Era With Powerful New Workplace Products Debuted At Canva Create
  • Media

Canva Unveils Enterprise Era With Powerful New Workplace Products Debuted At Canva Create

At its first international Canva Create event in Los Angeles today, Canva, the world’s only all-in-one visual communication platform, accelerated its focus on the enterprise, debuting the platform’s biggest overhaul in a decade alongside a range of new workplace products and services poised to redefine the way millions of people work. Lead image: Canva Founders […]

Cashrewards: A Decade Strong!
  • Partner Content

Cashrewards: A Decade Strong!

Cashrewards' CEO muses on the company's 10 year anniversary. Still refusing to answer questions about a possible party.

Partner Content

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Network 10 Axes Gladiators
  • Media

Network 10 Axes Gladiators

Alas, 10's Gladiators has gone as quickly as it came. Should make for a very wild garage sale, however.