SLIM 21 – Prepare to Fight Back…

The economy is getting opened up amidst innumerable views and counter views. The business leaders have in past faced and successfully handled various crises, recession, change management etc. But the current situation is totally different. The Covid 19 has attacked the whole world and simultaneously caused 2 damages – Economic Disaster and Emotional Turbulence. The world is undergoing formatting – yes, it is formatting – and as it happens in any formatting, many old apps get deleted or become irrelevant. New apps need to be installed. Similarly, the leaders need to equip themselves with different skills to lead their teams to desired performance.

SLIM 21 captures the essential 4 skills to drive to organizations successfully to 2021. These are – Serving Attitude, Leaners’ Mindset, Inspired Communication and Managing Uncertainty. Let’s see each one in details.

Different leadership styles – Authoritative, Democratic, Coercive etc – have served well in the past. They may not work equally well in the formatted world. The leaders need to acquire, possess and demonstrate serving attitude – genuinely serving their team members to succeed in their expected performance areas. The leaders will have to keep their subordinates’ interest above their own. The existing management tools like review and feedback should be used with the genuine desire to help subordinates grow. Leaders need to keep in mind that when the market reopens, it will see a new level of hyper competition. In that scenario the organization success will largely depend on the engagement and commitment level with which the workforce addresses the market. The leaders will need to prepare teams with high commitment and high motivation to get the business back on track as quickly as possible.

The leaders then need to adopt Learners’ Mindset. The world has not understood the virus well. New data points emerge and inferences are drawn on daily basis. Leaders need to keep their learning antenna up. They need to keep learning from the environment and keep adapting to the new normal. Today, the success in business isn’t based on our ability to simply change. It is based on our ability to change faster than our competition and customers. The famous quote – Survival of the fittest – has been cruelly replaced with Survival of the Quickest. In this unique situation of unforeseen problem, leaders will not have all the data with all the certainty. Learn to be paranoia and act before you are forced to.

24 hours news channels are busy beaming depressing Covid News. Print media too does not lag behind. This crisis has created more trainers than learners with free dissemination of intense knowledge through thousands of webinar every day. It has created a new crisis in terms of infodemic. And in the long run, the infodemic is likely to cause more damage than the pandemic itself. Leaders need to inspire their workshop with positive communication. They need to see the positives, aspire to achieve success and inspire others towards that.Communication is critical at this stage. Leaders need to Connect, Communicate, Connect, Communicate, Connect, Communicate…. There is nothing called over communication so long it is positive communication. And during the communication, the leaders need to treat people with Dignity and Respect…The people have NOT caused this crisis, don’t blame them for business shortfall.

The last and the most vital element is Managing Uncertainty. Experts and Scientists are speaking based on the current available information. Nobody has full clarity about the crisis and what the new normal will be. In such scenario, leaders can’t afford to wait for full clarity to take decision. The old learning – when in doubt, act – works best now. Leaders need to learn to manage this uncertainty and take decision. Please remember, the cost of no decision is much higher than the cost of wrong decision. Even if you have taken a wrong decision and if you are fast in taking decision, you will be equally fast in correcting it, once detected.

Most of the businesses are limping towards getting back to track – how long it will take is nobody’s guess. But the leaders need to prepare themselves to lead the businesses to their growth trajectory in 2021. And, the four elements of SLIM will help them do so. Let’s rock.

About the Author: Dr. Ajay Shrivastav is Founder Director of Anexion Transformation with over 3 decades of rich and varied experience, he is working with over 100 organizations in India and abroad in their growth journey. His email id is – ajay@anexion.in  

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