Tremendous thanks to Pat, Cody, and Chris for hosting this complimentary Webinar for Consultants and Practitioners. Below are my big highlighted takeaways, and then the notes I took live.
My Big Takeaways:
In abnormal times, you will either be “better” or “weaker.” You will not “maintain.”
Disruption breeds distraction. Abnormal times demand the power of simple focus.
Don’t be “generic.” Be “specific.” Be a “broker of good ideas.”
Be human. Be healthy. These will outlast our disrupted times.
[Please forgive any confusion or typos.]
1. Opportune time for leaders.
Not “opportunism.” An opportunity to show who they are. People are going to remember what we said and did during this time. During “abnormal” times, people are watching us as never before. This is a time to “lean in.”
No one is going to come through having “maintained” their credibility or effectiveness. You will be either “better” or “weaker.”
Again, people tend to think about the “smart” things. Don’t forget to be “healthy.” People are looking for help, and perspective. Give them that help and perspective.
Remind the leaders you’re working with, that this is an important time that will have an impact for years.
2. Do not underestimate the power of simple advice and reminders in general.
We are constantly shocked that we’re sharing things with leaders that are so simple, and people thank us. In times of disruption, when the environment is so complex, and things are moving so rapidly, the temptation for leaders is to get distracted with the environment. Give simple, straightforward answers and advice, that ground people in the basics.
Simple advice about being human. Do not hesitate. Err on the side of sharing with your clients.
Just being active and present.
3. Don’t just tell your clients, “If you need me, let me know.” It’s better to say to them, “Here are some things you may need. If anything resonates, let me know.”
They’re far more likely to ask you for help if you give them specific options.
It’s understandable why we shy away from offering options; not wanting to be perceived as “selling,” etc. But it’s far more helpful to state clearly what you can provide.
When it comes to help, don’t be generic. Be specific. It gives people options.
4. Serve your [current] clients.
Anticipate their objections.
In this time, the main currency is trust. If you are in full service of their needs, you will emerge as a trusted adviser of their team. That’s far more valuable than monetary compensation.
Give your service away.
Three Specific Things You Can Use With Your Clients
1. A one-hour team building session. In 60 minutes, propose an exercise that can make your clients’ teams better. Consider “Humble, Hungry, and Smart.”
See Pat’s talk:
Be “a broker of good ideas.”
2. The 3 Big Questions for a Frantic Family will be made available for free as a digital download.
Like leaders, families will emerge stronger or suffer through this time.
3. Give your clients a rallying-cry.
So many of us are reacting. Create temporary clarity, and direct energies toward focused objectives.
Things We’ve Learned From Consultants
“What have you learned this week?”
1. Volunteer to have pay cut to avoid job loss.
People underestimate the power of suffering and sacrifice, and specifically, sacrifice for others. People are willing to share in the suffering of others.
2. Institute a “check-out,” which is a touch base before leaving work at the end of the day.
How do you manage in a virtual environment?
This is not “temporary.” We have to get great at this. Commit to being the best virtual team, and lean into the “five behaviors” (trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, results) in and through the technology. We have to do our best “as though we were in the same room.”
Even though we’re in a virtual world, the five behaviors haven’t changed.
Be careful of the temptation to be “efficient.” Slow down. Take care and pay attention to the relational and organizational dynamics, and don’t table it for later.
Also, continue to get clear on what kind of meeting we’re having. (cf. Death By Meeting).
What do leaders need most right now?
Leaders need to be exceedingly human. Don’t be “business as usual.” People need to trust you, and they can’t trust you if you can’t be vulnerable.
Be creative. Try things. Don’t be afraid to try things that may seem silly.
What we have learned from past economic crises?
Of course this will impact our business, but not as much as we think. If we really understand what we do, this is more about time than it is about money. What we found out in 2008, is that clients are ready to invest more time in this which goes a long way. The most resilient companies focus on organizational health; that keeps the executive team strong. People are willing to keep doing this. The healthier organizations will emerge stronger.
The health of the organization maximizes the intelligence of the organization. This is not a “side dish” for a business. This is critical to focus on to get the best answers out of our people.