“Strong Leadership and Making People Safe First is an Imperative—Business Follows”

Today more than ever those leading us through crisis must have strong empathy and compassion first—business at-hand comes second. The human side of life must be addressed first to lead us out of crisis. This begins by addressing the most foundational human needs to survive. Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs defines the psychological motivational theory addressing survival—beginning with food, water, and safety—these must be achieved before other needs can be met (Maslow, 1943).

Now is the time every employer and their people need to prepare for when we can all return to work in the new norm—when it is safe for everyone to return.

Building a “scalable” business model just took on a totally new meaning and imperative. This is an opportune time to not only rethink the future of your organization (new business strategy) but to rethink the competencies and talent needed to bring your new strategy to life in a much more agile and dynamic way than ever before.

“Just as the world will never be the same after this COVID-19 pandemic,

neither will nor should your organization.”

“As long as we have learned from our experiences, apply empathy and compassion, and ensure the safety of others first—we will continue to make progress.”


Rapid Agility—How rapidly organizations and people are able to move from a “brick and mortar organization” to a “virtual organization” is paramount to maintain stability in current COVID-19 crisis and in future uncertain times including when the next pandemic or catastrophe takes place—it is not a matter of “if” it is a matter of “when”.

Inspirational Leadership Matters—The faster an organization’s leadership and its employees can act to keep the momentum and gain stability during and after crisis—the more likely such organization will achieve a sustainable future. It all begins with having the right leadership and the right people in the right seats then a progressive future is possible. Now is the time to be thinking about whether you have the right leadership and people in the right seats moving into your “new norms”. Please be certain—this is not saying layoffs—it is saying restructuring so that you are leveraging your current bench strength and adding new leadership and talent strengths where you are weak or missing what is needed.

Gifford Thompson posits “Inspiration and leadership are inseparable. If you cannot inspire your team to achieve greatness, if you cannot inspire a group of people to follow your vision, if you cannot inspire people by your words and actions; you’re not a leader. You are an average manager at best. Inspirational leaders don’t accept ‘the way life is,’ and they are often uncomfortable if they are not living their purpose, and sharing it with the world. We were all born with unique gifts to share, but we are often thrown off track by taking a job that is safe, and has great benefits but isn’t fulfilling—we may be good at it, we may be the best at it, but it does not bring out the greatness trapped inside of us begging to come out (Thompson, 2020).”

Brandy Schade, Strengthology Leadership Consultant, shared with me during a recent conversation we were having on what competencies great managers possess. Brandy posited “the key traits to look for in a person when promoting or hiring someone into a leadership role are they:

• Motivate every single employee to act and engage employees with a compelling mission and vision.

• Have the assertiveness to drive outcomes and the ability to overcome adversity and resistance.

• Create a culture of clear accountability.

• Build relationships that create trust, open dialogue, and full transparency; and

• Make decisions based on productivity, not politics.

All of these 5 critical traits are also competencies found within someone who has strong emotional intelligence. There is a plethora of studies that show authentic and most meaningful leaders must have strong emotional intelligence.

Brandy also shared with me a Gallop article written by Randall Beck and Jim Harter and published in the Gallop Workplace Business Journal that went into details about these five traits and when organizations measure these traits when hiring their managers, they were able to double the rate of engaged employees, and achieve on average, 147% higher earnings per share than their competition (Beck and Harter, ND).

“Companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time,

Gallup finds”

Motivating the Troops—What does the military have that the majority of organizations don’t have? Leaders at all levels motivating the people around them. A core leadership competency absolutely a must is the ability to quickly build rapport and trust with direct reports and all employees. This competency also happens to be a core competency of strong emotional intelligence. William Treseder is a thought leader when it comes to leadership and how to motivate others wrote a compelling article entitled “Military Secrets for Motivating Employees” that quickly points out the missing link and reasons why the military is so amazingly great at motivating their troops and what organizations can learn from the military’s success taking people from all over the world with absolutely nothing in common and—depending on the service—has between 6 and 13 weeks to mold them into a functional unit that is capable of executing complex tasks with relative precision.

Treseder posits “The magnitude of this task is difficult to grasp. It’s hard enough to get one teenaged male to do something (ask any parent), let alone dozens of them. Crammed together. Sleep-deprived. With weapons… On top of that, these young men and women are sweating or freezing for less than minimum wage. The bottom line, the Army, Navy, and Air Forces are good at motivating people because they have to be because military life is hard and you can’t pay people much. You may ask them to die, and you have to know they’ll accomplish the mission anyway.”

A common thread can be found amongst the best leaders—whether Spartan hoplite, a Japanese samurai, a Turkish Ghazi, or an American soldier—the ability to have empathy and an understanding of human nature. Napoleon demonstrated unparalleled insight into human nature when explaining the medal to his critics on how soldiers need glory, distinctions, and rewards. Treseder concurred “Things should be earned, never given. (Treseder, 2014).”

Team Engagement & Productivity—Brandy Schade, Strengthology Leadership Consultant, People who have fun and do what they do best on a daily basis are 6x as likely to be engaged. Teams that focus on strengths every day are 12.5% more productive. High levels of employee engagement increase profitability and productivity by approximately 20%.

Paul Zak wrote about “The Neuroscience of Trust”—and found that “building a culture of trust is what makes a meaningful difference. Employees in high-trust organizations are more productive, have more energy at work, collaborate better with their colleagues, and stay with their employers longer than people working at low-trust companies. They also suffer less chronic stress and are happier with their lives, and these factors fuel stronger performance. (Zak, 2017).

Shifting Mindset—It is not just about what an organization wants and needs to survive vs. become extinct—it is also important to address what leadership and employees need to thrive. A relevant survey by the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (SEVS) used to evaluate the extent to which the Army Acquisition Workforce (AAW) employees are motivated. Here are a few of what was most important:

• Importance of their jobs and connection to their organization’s mission

• Understanding their jobs and performance feedback

• Encouragement of individual development and the importance of a healthy work-life balance

• Feeling empowered, appreciated, paid fairly, and having opportunities for growth

(Saacks, 2016).

Assessing Your Bench Strength During COVID-19 and Beyond—Virtual recruitment and virtual hiring now should be your “go-to” resources as you take a critical view of your current leadership and people and identify the gaps in strengths necessary to drive the future of your organization in the new norms.

Hiring Virtually—Leonel DeLeon, an expert in retain executive search placements, wrote an article recently entitled “Cost of Getting ‘Hiring Wrong’” and as I was reading it, I found the timeliness of his article to be even more profound because of what we are now experiencing and the entire world is dealing with during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Leonel further posits a few of the advantages of embracing virtual hiring practices, I have found are:

• Access to a larger pipeline of new talent—Global Reach with Local Touch

• Attracting a robust pipeline of more highly-qualified candidates—Breadth and Depth of Reach

• Leveraging technology, reducing time to hire, and making consistently good decisions with on-demand and live video interviews—Means Deploying Talent Much Faster Within Just A Few Days Vs. Weeks or Months.

• Enabling rapid screening of candidates and helps narrow the funnel to assess the most qualified, “best fit” candidates for each position—Finding Best Fit Faster

• Reduces the cost of hiring and increases better decision making—Mitigating the Risk of Hiring the Wrong People

According to a recent Gallup study “Bad managers cost businesses billions of dollars each year and having too many of them can bring down a company. The only defense against this problem is a good offense because when companies get these decisions wrong, nothing fixes it. Businesses that get it right, however, and hire managers based on talent will thrive and gain a significant competitive advantage (Beck and Harter, ND).

Leonel further shared in his article a recent survey from The Conference Board who have been conducting Executive surveys since 1999 shows that the world's top chief executives view the following as their Top 3 concerns in 2020:

• #1 concern is the risk of a recession (we are in a bad recession right now)

• #2 attracting and retaining talent (COVID-19 has caused organizations to layoff and freeze up combined with complete chaos especially when it comes to making hiring decisions), and lastly

• #3 competition and staying ahead of the curve while remaining relevant to their customers and employees (companies’ worst nightmare just became real)

Executives in 2020 also feel unsettled by trade uncertainty, political instability, and more intense competition from disruptive technologies (multiply this fear tenfold today as the pandemic has brought the US economy to its knees).

JPMORGAN CHASE CEO, Jamie Dimon, says he expects "a bad recession" and financial stress "similar to the global financial crisis" in the months ahead as the U.S. economy reels from the spread of the coronavirus outbreak and the lockdown measures being adopted to contain it (U.S. News & World Report, 04/06/20).

Leonel DeLeon, is the Managing Partner of Strong Tower Partners, a retain executive search, talent advisory and executive coaching firm specialized in identifying, attracting and coaching exceptional leaders to maximize organizational talent selection and talent management competencies and processes.

In conclusion, now is the time every employer and their people need to prepare for how their business will be conducted in order to thrive vs. become extinct right now and into the future as we all return to work in the new norm. The reality is organizations must build “scalable” business models and scalable hiring practices while leveraging this unprecedented time in global and U.S. history by embracing it as an opportune time to not only rethink the future of your organization (new business strategy) but to rethink the competencies and talent needed to bring your new strategy to life in a much more agile and dynamic way than ever before.

“Just as the world will never be the same after this COVID-19 pandemic,

neither will nor should your organization.”


Learn More



Hey Leaders: Stop Thinking So Much and Just Do It!

Posted on June 2, 2016 at 6:25 PM

Hey Leaders: Stop Thinking so much and just do it! 

by Author, Daniel Gross, executive editor of strategy+business.

This article was published in strategy+business on March 25, 2015 and holds just as an important message today if not more for aspiring "Leaders".

The source: strategy+business: Corporate Strategies and News Articles on Global Business, Management, Competition and Marketing

Published: March 25, 2015


“You can only learn what you need to know about your job and about yourself by doing it—not by just thinking about it.” That may be a strange way for someone who thinks about (and teaches and writes about) business for a living to start a book. And it certainly represents a fork from the increasingly well-trod intellectual path that celebrates mindfulness and introversion. But to Herminia Ibarra, it represents a truism: “Simply put, change happens from the outside in, not from the inside out.”

Those are just two of the many counterintuitive and easily digestible bits of wisdom in Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader. Concise, direct, and possessing a certain flair, Ibarra’s new book (her second) is a projection of her personality. A native of Miami and veteran of Harvard Business School, Ibarra since 2002 has taught at INSEAD in Paris, where she is the Cora Chaired Professor of Leadership and Learning and heads her department.

The book’s core message is simple and incisive. In an age of constant disruption, you better redefine yourself before the rapidly shifting sands of corporate America and technology redefine you. You have to act like a leader before you’re appointed to a leadership position, and you have to manage your own leadership path. The way to do it is by intentionally making yourself uncomfortable. Only be exiting your comfort zone can you develop “outsight”—the term she coins to describe the valuable perspective gained through actions.

 You have to act like a leader before you’re appointed to a leadership position.

To do so, people must overcome the gravitational pull of inertia. Ibarra notes that psychology and financial incentives push us to do more of what we are good it, and to get still better at it. But, she writes, “When we allocate more time to what we do best, we devote less time to learning other things that are also important.” And pursuing the comfort of our competencies can set us up for failure when circumstances change. A professional might spend decades thriving as a newspaper editor, or as a manager of a big-box electronics retail supply chain, or overseeing coal-mining operations—only to find that circumstances suddenly render his expertise significantly less valuable, even obsolete.

 To avoid this competency trap, Ibarra argues, people have to regard their jobs as platforms for building “outsight” and leadership capacities. How? By creating slack in your schedule so you can get involved in projects outside your core area and participate in extracurricular industry activities. By consciously making the effort to network with people who work in different industries and have different competencies. By finding a context or situation that makes you uneasy—giving a presentation, showing up at a conference for the first time, speaking up at an internal meeting. “Act as radically different from your normal behavior as you can,” she suggests.

Trying on a new identity at work may seem anathema to the rising cult of authenticity. But Ibarra urges readers to recognize how adhering strictly to behaviors that feel natural can inhibit career evolution. While everybody wants to be true to themselves, they can “hit a wall as they enter the transition to more senior leadership roles.” Ibarra notes that she has faced this dilemma in her own career. Starting to teach compelled her to make the adjustment from an academic researcher to someone who had to directly engage MBA students. Years later, when she was tapped to become a department chair at INSEAD, she felt the job was infringing on her capacity to do what she was best at—writing and teaching. “I wasn’t stepping up to leadership, because I didn’t think that leading was real work,” she writes. To gain outsight, Ibarra practiced some of what she preaches. She began networking outside her comfort zone, sought out board positions, and become involved with outside groups like the World Economic Forum.

Ibarra’s advice definitely cuts against the grain. As she put it in a recent interview with strategy+business, her argument calls into question the “long tradition of social psychology research that the way we think follows what we do, and not the other way around.” And humans tend not to focus on the need to build capacities before we actually need them.

There may be practical obstacles to acting like a leader in the way Ibarra suggests. “The actual advice I’ve given people is to try to carve out 10 to 15 percent of their time for side projects—networking events, connecting to people not in the immediate path of your operational responsibilities,” she said. But not every company or organization is designed to let employees have reliable slack in their schedules; if anything, the trend is in the opposite direction.

Also, the prescriptions may not work in every context. Ibarra concedes that the impulses that inform her book are characteristically American—the ability to network, to invent one’s self, and then to reinvent one’s self. In the U.S., “it’s a culture where hierarchical differences are minimized, and you can walk up to anybody and introduce yourself,” she said. “It’s not something you do as easily in France.”

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. And it’s never too early to start. Becoming a leader, this valuable book reminds us, is a process, not simply an event. And it requires building a set of skills rather than following a series of prescribed steps. “Stepping up to leadership is more like becoming a great chef,” Ibarra writes, “than following a recipe.”

Author Profile: Daniel Gross is executive editor of strategy+business.

Categories: Notable Authors and Topics and Books to Read, Leadership

Post a Comment


Oops, you forgot something.


The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.


Reply kobe byrant shoes
12:25 PM on August 5, 2021 
My spouse and i were quite lucky when Michael could conclude his research from the precious recommendations he discovered through the blog. It's not at all simplistic just to continually be giving freely ideas other people may have been trying to sell. And we also acknowledge we have got you to thank because of that. The most important illustrations you have made, the simple website menu, the friendships you help to promote - it's mostly fantastic, and it's really leading our son in addition to the family reckon that this matter is interesting, which is certainly pretty mandatory. Many thanks for everything!
kobe byrant shoes
Reply hermes online
12:25 PM on August 5, 2021 
I wanted to jot down a note to be able to say thanks to you for all the great information you are sharing on this website. My extensive internet look up has now been compensated with beneficial points to exchange with my companions. I 'd say that most of us website visitors actually are unequivocally lucky to exist in a superb website with so many outstanding professionals with useful tips and hints. I feel truly happy to have discovered the website page and look forward to plenty of more brilliant moments reading here. Thanks again for a lot of things.
hermes online
Reply supreme clothing
12:24 PM on August 5, 2021 
Thank you for all of the hard work on this web page. Gloria takes pleasure in participating in investigation and it's really easy to understand why. My spouse and i learn all regarding the powerful ways you make practical tips on the website and in addition recommend response from visitors on that content and our favorite daughter is certainly becoming educated a whole lot. Have fun with the remaining portion of the year. You have been conducting a splendid job.
supreme clothing
Reply bape hoodie
12:24 PM on August 5, 2021 
Thanks so much for giving everyone an extraordinarily splendid opportunity to discover important secrets from here. It is often so great and as well , packed with amusement for me personally and my office co-workers to search your blog at a minimum three times every week to see the fresh things you have got. And indeed, I am just usually impressed with your mind-boggling points you give. Certain 3 points on this page are unequivocally the most effective I've ever had.
bape hoodie
Reply supreme clothing
12:24 PM on August 5, 2021 
I am only commenting to make you be aware of of the cool encounter my friend's girl had using your site. She even learned plenty of things, which include what it's like to have an awesome helping nature to get certain people without problems have an understanding of several very confusing topics. You undoubtedly surpassed readers' expectations. Thank you for coming up with those practical, safe, revealing not to mention fun tips about your topic to Julie.
supreme clothing
Reply curry 8
12:23 PM on August 5, 2021 
I truly wanted to write a small message to be able to thank you for all of the amazing information you are posting here. My time consuming internet investigation has finally been rewarded with reasonable facts and techniques to write about with my classmates and friends. I would say that we visitors are definitely endowed to be in a magnificent place with many special individuals with insightful things. I feel very much grateful to have used your entire website page and look forward to some more enjoyable minutes reading here. Thank you again for everything.
curry 8
Reply stone island
12:23 PM on August 5, 2021 
I intended to post you a very small note just to say thank you as before about the incredible suggestions you have discussed on this site. It has been so remarkably open-handed with you to grant extensively all many people would have advertised as an ebook to help with making some money for their own end, specifically considering the fact that you might have done it in the event you desired. These advice also served to be the great way to recognize that other people online have the same keenness like my personal own to learn a great deal more on the topic of this condition. I think there are several more pleasurable sessions in the future for people who looked over your website.
stone island
Reply pg 4
11:53 AM on August 5, 2021 
A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a little evaluation on this. And he in actual fact purchased me breakfast because I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! However yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying extra on this topic. If doable, as you turn out to be expertise, would you thoughts updating your blog with extra details? It's highly useful for me. Massive thumb up for this blog publish!
pg 4
Reply yeezy 350
11:53 AM on August 5, 2021 
There are certainly a whole lot of details like that to take into consideration. That could be a great point to deliver up. I supply the thoughts above as general inspiration however clearly there are questions just like the one you convey up where crucial factor will probably be working in trustworthy good faith. I don?t know if best practices have emerged around things like that, however I'm sure that your job is clearly recognized as a fair game. Each girls and boys feel the affect of just a moment�s pleasure, for the rest of their lives.
yeezy 350
Reply golden goose
11:53 AM on August 5, 2021 
Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I wish to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and actual effort to make a very good article?however what can I say?I procrastinate alot and not at all seem to get one thing done.
golden goose
Reply yeezy 500 blush
11:53 AM on August 5, 2021 
Aw, this was a really nice post. In concept I wish to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article?but what can I say?I procrastinate alot and certainly not appear to get something done.
yeezy 500 blush
Reply yeezy 350 v2
11:53 AM on August 5, 2021 
Aw, this was a really nice post. In thought I would like to put in writing like this moreover ?taking time and actual effort to make a very good article?but what can I say?I procrastinate alot and by no means seem to get one thing done.
yeezy 350 v2
Reply jordan 1 high
11:42 AM on August 5, 2021 
I must point out my admiration for your kindness giving support to people that should have help with the area. Your personal dedication to passing the message all through had been incredibly practical and has in every case helped ladies just like me to arrive at their aims. Your new informative key points indicates a lot to me and somewhat more to my colleagues. Thanks a lot; from each one of us.
jordan 1 high
Reply giannis shoes
11:37 AM on August 5, 2021 
I happen to be writing to let you understand what a notable encounter our child encountered checking your site. She discovered some things, most notably what it's like to possess an awesome giving mood to have many people without problems have an understanding of specified very confusing things. You actually did more than people's desires. I appreciate you for displaying those essential, healthy, educational and even cool tips on that topic to Ethel.
giannis shoes
Reply yeezy 350
11:37 AM on August 5, 2021 
I am writing to make you know what a impressive discovery our girl experienced using your blog. She realized so many details, most notably how it is like to possess an amazing helping heart to let men and women without problems know just exactly certain impossible subject areas. You truly did more than visitors' expected results. Many thanks for rendering such essential, safe, revealing and cool thoughts on that topic to Julie.
yeezy 350
Reply kd 12
11:37 AM on August 5, 2021 
I'm writing to make you understand what a cool experience my cousin's child had reading through your blog. She figured out a lot of details, which included how it is like to have an excellent helping nature to have certain people smoothly thoroughly grasp specified tortuous things. You actually exceeded readers' expectations. Many thanks for rendering the invaluable, trusted, explanatory and cool thoughts on the topic to Ethel.
kd 12
Reply golden goose sneakers
11:36 AM on August 5, 2021 
I precisely wished to thank you so much all over again. I do not know the things I would've handled in the absence of the type of opinions shown by you regarding such a problem. It actually was a very difficult difficulty in my view, but considering the skilled way you solved that forced me to jump with happiness. I will be happier for the advice and then wish you know what an amazing job that you are carrying out teaching men and women by way of your web site. I know that you haven't encountered all of us.
golden goose sneakers
Reply bape
11:36 AM on August 5, 2021 
I want to show some thanks to the writer for bailing me out of this matter. After looking throughout the world wide web and finding thoughts which were not beneficial, I was thinking my life was well over. Existing without the presence of solutions to the problems you've sorted out as a result of your write-up is a crucial case, as well as ones that could have in a wrong way damaged my career if I had not come across your web blog. Your own personal natural talent and kindness in controlling all the pieces was very helpful. I am not sure what I would've done if I hadn't come upon such a solution like this. I am able to at this moment relish my future. Thanks very much for your expert and result oriented guide. I will not think twice to suggest your web site to anyone who would like counselling about this matter.
Reply supreme
11:36 AM on August 5, 2021 
Thanks a lot for giving everyone an exceptionally remarkable chance to check tips from this website. It is usually very fantastic and also jam-packed with a good time for me and my office colleagues to visit your site no less than thrice every week to learn the newest guides you have got. Not to mention, we're certainly amazed with the wonderful methods you serve. Selected 2 ideas in this posting are without a doubt the most suitable I have ever had.
Reply kyrie 5
11:36 AM on August 5, 2021 
I wish to express some appreciation to this writer for rescuing me from such a circumstance. Right after surfing around throughout the world-wide-web and seeing principles which were not helpful, I believed my life was well over. Living minus the answers to the problems you've sorted out as a result of your entire guide is a serious case, as well as ones that could have in a wrong way affected my entire career if I hadn't encountered the blog. Your know-how and kindness in maneuvering all the details was crucial. I'm not sure what I would've done if I hadn't discovered such a step like this. I can at this point look ahead to my future. Thanks for your time so much for the expert and amazing help. I won't hesitate to endorse your web site to any person who wants and needs direction about this issue.
kyrie 5