Leading Through Disruption

In the fields of Manufacturing, Technology, Customer Service, HR, and the list goes on and on, the big topic at conferences around the globe has been around “Innovative Disruption.” How can we disrupt our daily routines to discover critical solutions, create new products, and streamline existing processes and procedures to produce breakthroughs in our systems? How can we step out of the whirlwind of “business as usual” to elevate our game  and provide better products and services to our customers?

Well … guess what?  DISRUPTION IS HERE! 

Leading through times of constant change and ongoing disruption requires different leadership.

It is during these critical times that great leaders slow down to do the right thing — not the easy thing.

When it comes to leading through disruption, here are 4 critical leadership opportunities to help your team thrive!

  1. Focus on your Mindset. Shift your focus from crisis to disruption. When you think of the word crisis, what thoughts, words, or emotions come to mind? When you think of the word disruption, what thoughts, words, or emotions come to mind? Does one word seem or feel more hopeful than the other?  Does one word seem to cause less stress or anxiety? Remember, strength doesn’t start in the gym. Strength starts in your mind!
  2. Focus on your Behavior. If you think about this as a crisis, and you talk about this as a crisis, and you behave as if the sky is falling and everything is falling apart … guess how your team will respond? It is important that you remain calm. Be mindful of your behavior because your team will follow your lead! Focus on demonstrating the same behaviors you want to see in your team.
  3. Focus on Successful Outcomes. Instead of being paralyzed by the problems and challenges created by the disruption, allow it to give you the courage to take action. To think “outside the box.” And, don’t worry! Just because you are the leader, you don’t need to have all the answers! Look for opportunities to pull your team together to collaborate and provide input. BUT … before you get started brainstorming on solutions, stop and ask your team to define the successful outcome. Once everyone is clear about what the successful outcome looks like, everyone will be moving toward the same destination for a solution!
  4. Focus on You. You must make sure you are taking care of yourself first. If you are “Running On Empty” (like the old Eagles song), you have nothing to give to others. Make sure you incorporate activities into your schedule that helps to fill your bucket. If you like to read, listen to music, or workout, create space for those things in your schedule so that you will be refreshed and refueled in your mind and body.

#ExerciseLeadershipToday Challenge

  1. Create a visual reminder in your workspace — DISRUPTION, not crisis!
  2. Take 5 minutes to create a list of current challenges you and your team is facing. Prioritize the list. Now that you’ve identified your top challenge, send a virtual meeting request to the team members who can help you brainstorm solutions.  Remember to start the meeting by collecting their thoughts and input to create a clear, successful outcome. Then begin the brainstorm process. This is not the time to “weed out” supposed bad ideas.  Just collect the ideas and then let the team go off for a day or two to think about their best solution!
  3. Make a commitment right now to the ONE THING you are going to do for yourself to keep yourself mentally and physically sharp!

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