Leading Well During a Crisis

Our decisions are most often made based on the results we predict and are able to measure. 

Results that matter seem to only be those quantifiable, tangible and written down. How well does this approach work when swift action is needed? How long does it take us to offer emotional support, compassion, and care for individuals and in the human systems in which we lead? While an outcomes based, data driven approach can help us discern and quantify a best course of action, doing ‘the right’ thing when a caring response is needed is inspired first by the heart – and second – calibrated by the head. If we rely only on the first and getting predictive data to chart the course, we’ll be too late to make the needed difference in people’s lives.

Throughout history leaders have written their legacy by taking heart- inspired action first, and calibrating the path forward second. This is magnanimous action fueled by wisdom, and compassion and for me, and with those leaders I coach, the bold move urged by the heart makes all the difference in outcomes. Humanity excels when our hearts take the lead over a purely data – driven approach.

What is the right thing to do in a humane crisis when outcomes can’t be quantified? 

What is the cost of time and labor to show we care? Can we truly justify complacency by a profit or loss statement? Leaders I’m coaching are now heading into week three of overwhelm. While leading remote teams isn’t new- inspiring those teams through 15 hour days of virtual meetings, constant family interruptions, news overwhelm, fear of job loss, and market volatility presents a radical rise for their collective and individual vulnerability. This time offers these leaders, and all humans the opportunity to do what technology never can — create solutions of the heart.

I agree that measurable results are vital for decisions with mission critical operating focus and more. But, when caring for our employees, and helping our government, city leaders, health care workers and those most vulnerable in our community amid COVID-19 containment and its ramifications, leading with our hearts is needed if we’re to perform our best. This is a humane crisis warranting humane effort and resolve. What we can’t measure is treasured – and how it feels when others come alongside us to listen, and help us find solutions together does have lasting, positive outcomes.

This point is well stated by Hubert Joly, Executive Chairman and former CEO of Best Buy in his recent article, “A Time to Lead with Purpose and Humanity.”

 “ ..Performance will be judged by how a company and its leadership serve everyone and a higher purpose – and specifically how they have shown up and mete the requirements and expectations of its multiple stakeholders. This crisis gives business leaders the opportunity to lead from the front..and ask themselves:  How do you want your leadership from this time to be remembered? 

Leading through COVID-19 may bring out the best in us during some of the worst of times.  I believe we can become better as people – as leaders – and as companies because of these times if our data-driven approaches are coupled with the generative wisdom of the heart.

To explore coaching and how it supports you now – schedule a call with Kim.

Kim Moore

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