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Unpredictable Times Call for Unpredictable Leadership

Many things about the workplace are predictable – the monthly meetings, the presentations, the unfaltering brand colours that adorn all that’s created – it’s no wonder that the workforce tune out!

Predictability results in leaders becoming invisible to others – and to themselves if they’ve spent their career trying to fit into outdated leadership stereotypes. Yes, ‘the times’ are changing, and we must adapt but people continuously change too, and the same applies. Leaders who are looking to provide stability need to do the unexpected – they need to forget perfection, get creative and make it personal.

Forget perfection

Imperfection is perfect. It’s human and the world needs more of it. We want to see people – as they are – with character, stories and life experience. No-one else has walked the same path, no-one sees life through the same eyes and story differentiates us from every single one of the 7 billion+ people who live on our planet today. Does anyone really want filtered, polished versions of their leaders?

I’m certain that transparent conversation long surpassed a desire for scripted communications and I strongly suspect that people would rather see genuine human connection from leaders who deliver in an authentic way.

Get Creative

Memorable leaders bring their thinking to life in creative, disruptive and innovative ways. They build personal brands, they show up as they are and they surprise people rather than send blanket emails, branded pdfs and in the most unevolved businesses, place printed memos on desks. High impact leadership is unpredictable, clever and creative. It makes people stop and think, generating loyal followings because connection originates from a much deeper level.

Make It Personal

Effective decision making isn’t possible without emotional input. The parts of the brain located in the frontal lobe are critical to decision making and the frontal lobe is our emotional control panel. Evoking emotion in others is one thing but being in touch with your own, as part of the work you do, is easier said than done and it’s a topic that triggers genuine fear.

People love it when their leaders embrace authenticity, emerging as relatable human beings. Those leaders know that emotion is not a weakness it’s a necessity. They understand the need to connect with people via their heads and their hearts because when people feel something, they’re far more likely to act on it.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership in unpredictable times but regardless of what ‘time’ we’re in, life is always unpredictable.

We live in a world full of dynamic, vibrant human beings and those who have the courage to be authentic, visible and vulnerable – who have the tenacity to be creative in their actions, their words and their approach – are the ones we’ll turn to when we need reassurance, strength, and stability because they’re the leaders of the present and they are the leaders of the future.

About the author

Sallee Poinsette-Nash is a human brand builder and the Founder of Brandable & Co – which exists to bring people to the forefront and put humanness firmly at the heart of careers, companies and corporate organisations. Sallee has spent 20+ years navigating the world of high-level business and brand building, holding CEO / COO positions, heading up international projects and delivering brand strategy and advisory board roles to a high-profile client list.

As published on We Are The City, November 2019

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