Leading When the World is on Fire

user Monica Chi
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Autumn is typically that time of year associated with gathering the harvest and leaves falling to the ground, making way for new life to grow. The equivalent in the corporate world during times of plenty involves harnessing momentum to finish the year strong while locking down even bigger goals and budgets for next year with clarity and confidence. And yet, the onset of fall this time around feels anything but typical or abundant. We have unwittingly made it this far into 2020, but not without experiencing one devastating loss after another, each month revealing greater complexity and heartache than the last.

For so many of us on the West Coast, our latest upheaval stems from living under the threat of fire and the overwhelming smoke and haze. My family has gotten adept at packing in case of evacuation – we have had two close calls already and each of my three girls is prepared with their favorite items in a bag that their little arms can carry in a pinch. It’s hard to believe how many of our fates depend quite literally on which way the wind blows.

I see my clients struggling with a similar predicament – they are ardently tending to the untold number of ‘fires’ that have erupted in their day-to-day business – all the while anxious about when and where the next dry-lightning strike might hit, let alone what all of this means for the long haul.

It’s in these very times when it doesn’t seem like circumstances could possibly get any tougher, that the clarion call for bold leadership is strongest. Yet what does this really require?

Some of our recent research, completed during these COVID-times, reveals five underlying factors critical to individual, team, and organizational effectiveness. And in our experience, with intention and focus, each of these building blocks is both measurable and attainable by people across every level of leadership.

To help you gain greater awareness, we’ve developed a thoughtful 12-question Management Essentials assessment that will reveal how your organization’s leadership capacity compares against our nationwide benchmarks. In addition, we’ve curated hard-earned insights to help you delve deeper into each area through the collection of content below.

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May you find strength and hope as you lean into the chaos and lead in the midst of fire. What’s clear to me is that how we continue to respond from here – the sum of our actions…and inactions – will create ripple effects that will be felt for generations to come.

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