One of the premises of Responsive.org is that the rate of change is accelerating. Over the six years that I have run events about the Future of Work, we have seen that the ways we work and organize are changing ever faster.
The COVID-19 pandemic has expedited this rate of change and fast-forwarded the Future of Work into “now.” All of the trends that define what we were calling the Future of Work are now abruptly commonplace: distributed work, digital collaboration, rapid adaptability.
But one of the most important, and under-valued, aspects of this sudden shift is the increasing emphasis it places on leadership and our people.
My philosophy on leadership is “love, guide, let go.”
- Love – Support your people with empathy and understanding.
- Guide – Guide people towards desired outcomes and objectives.
- Let go – Let go of what you cannot control, and hold people accountable for their actions.
By placing people first, supporting them where they are, and recognizing that we are not ultimately able to control others, we are able to build more successful organizations.
There are lots of tactics for treating people more kindly. At Zander Media, we begin every meeting with a Check-In Round, which is a chance to connect personally before discussing business. Check-In Rounds consist of a simple question like “what is a book or movie you are enjoying?” to something much more vulnerable like “what is something about the current crisis that you are scared about?” These questions provide an opportunity to get to know your people, while safely developing the habit of vulnerability across a team.
Ultimately, though, tactics are much less important. When we show up as humans first, and only secondarily prioritize business performance, we are able to build companies that can not only keep up with the current times, but flourish.