Black Swans draw eyes onto the Leader
Posted by Claude Warner on Monday 16th May 2011 at 21:06:51
Black swan events are events that are totally unexpected and have a major impact. Whether the price of the primary commodity on which your business is based suddenly collapses, the world economic scenario changes virtually overnight, or planes slam into the Twin Towers, the impact of this on a business can be major, leading to scenarios such as business closure, total restructuring of the business, or diversification into other markets.
But when the Black Swan first arrives, all eyes are on the leader, looking to him or her to make meaning of the event. It is to him or her that people turn to ascertain what the implications are for the business, for them as employees, for the market they operate in, for the future.
Under normal operating conditions leaders play a strategic role in the direction of the business, but the leader‘s response carries a special weight at the time of a Black Swan event. How the leader responds emotionally will be a major factor in how the employees themselves interpret and respond to the situation.
The leader who can respond effectively to this scenario is one that is firstly aware of his or her own emotions, and is able to respond understanding their own fears, concerns and perspectives. This makes for a considered response as opposed to a kneejerk emotional reaction that screams “This is the end of world as we know it!”
Further, this leader needs to have a clear sense of the emotional tone of the organisation. Do the workers fear losing their jobs, working short time, loss of market share leading to a reduction in sales and production? If the business is the major employer in an area could there be implications for the whole community?
As a leader, meaningful questions to ask are “How connected am I to my own emotions, and how attuned am I to those I am leading? Will I be able to respond appropriately and effectively to a Black Swan event?”
Powered by Virtual Enterprises / Easy CMS Website Builder | Imaging by Lindesigns