I wonder, do you work with the leadership team themselves? Is it a top-down approach? What are some of the things that they really expect you to do? What is the story?
The thing is when you’re handling a crisis, one of the important things is to manage expectations. Because the problem with a crisis is people always want things to go back to normal. And in some cases they will never go back to normal. It’s just that you have to find a new way of managing in new circumstances.
I always tell the leaders and team managers to manage your team’s expectations, understand what this is going to look like on the other side of the curve when we come out of it, because normally what happens in a crisis is some component of what used to exist no longer exists anymore.
My first thing is always to let them know that things are not going to be the same again. And then they get very sad and annoyed. And I say, no. But they can be better than they used to be. That’s the advantage of a crisis.
Leaders and managers, you have to be able to identify when you approach the team. The head of the team, do they have the personality of a manager or do they have the personality of a leader? Now in most corporate environments, most of the people who are in charge of the teams are really managers because, you know, corporations don’t have a lot of of appetite for leaders because a leader is like a renegade. They take them through entrepreneurial journeys because they’ve identified opportunities.
But in order to go through that journey, you’re going to have to break through some rules and you can’t break rules in an organization in a large corporation. So. I’ve always noticed that when I go in, I look at the team and 99% they are managers. So they are able to manage the responsibility that they have. But as a result of that, because they are functional, mentally functional, they know, okay you know what? This team has to perform this way on a timely basis. They can get the ball back up, but you give them a new environment, like a crisis. That’s when I actually have to take over from that and say, you know what, let me direct all of you out of this crisis. And once I can see the way ahead, I give it back to the manager then to manage, taking his team on that journey.
How often do you see during those times that a manager turns into a leader? Or a manager just doesn’t cut it anymore. And they have to part ways?
Corporations need more managers than they need leaders. They say the opposite, but the infrastructure of a large corporation does not have a lot of appetite to take on the risk of having too many needles. Can you imagine the amount of risk that you are taking on if you’re the CEO? And instead of managers, you have a whole bunch of leaders underneath you, and leaders are motivated by different things. There’s a big assumption that a leader always has integrity, but not all leaders have integrity. Some of the worst people in the history of this world have been brilliant leaders.
Not every leader has honesty. You said that in your speech, right? In one of your videos, You asked them to write down on a whiteboard, what are the qualities of a leader and nothing? You, you specifically mentioned honesty, right? So there’s an assumption that every leader is honest. And I wanna, I beg to differ on that because I’ve been in corporations for 30 years and that’s not true. Not every leader is honest. So as a result, You actually need managers. If your organization is a large organization and it’s built on rules, then you need managers.