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How Agile is Your Leadership?

Navigating change, and creating from chaos are functions of leadership. And in chaos, there is seldom a clear way forward. Consider Emily, and her situation. How would you handle being her?

Emily is a strong, capable director who is well established in her role and with her team. She has lots of “emotional insurance” in the bank; people trust her and follow her lead. Awesome.

Things are changing. New methodologies will require a much closer management of her staff. She is concerned that she will come across as a directive-driven micro-manager.

Hello, My name is Emily

I’m a director in a mid-sized company, and considered to be an expert in my field. I love my work and have the terrific staff who make the challenges easier; I have created space for myself too, and have time for family and some leisure beyond.

I’ve anchored my place in this company with a diligent focus on building better relationships; learning advanced listening, coaching and management skills, often ignoring personal achievement to ensure the success of others. I’m open to feedback and believe that it’s important to provide solid support in return. I am a defender of the underdog, I am respected. I make a good income and no longer feel threatened by the thought of being without resources.

Our company is shifting direction – it’s industry driven with changes in methodology and new discoveries. It’s rapid change, and I’m uncertain. My direction has been based in my expertise and this new direction is putting me on edge. I’m doubting my own leadership and I worry about how I will appear to my direct reports who rely on me for the stable environment. Their work is quite challenging, and they look to me for guidance.

There is considerable pressure to get this right. We don’t really have the time, from an industry perspective, to be as collaborative as I’d like.

I hate the idea of the pressure being transmitted to my staff and that my uncertainty will translate into being demanding and unreasonable. I’m afraid that I’ll come on too strong and be seen as taking power away from others. We need our focus in the direction we are going, and I know some of my staff will be resentful of this change. We don’t really have the time, from an industry perspective, to be as collaborative as I’d like.

I dread becoming a b**ch and if we fail, I don’t want to be a part of the corporate bloodshed which will mean a considerable loss of status.”

By all accounts I am successful. But for how long?

How would you handle being her?