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Crisis & Leadership: Are You Up for the Task?

by Ruth Hildegard Henrich, MBA

In today's economy, a generation of leaders is severely tested. Are you up to the task of being the leader the New World needs ? Are you ready to be the ‘new’ leader?

The way we do business is changing. Consequently the way we approach our work has to change as well. Layoffs and economic uncertainty force many people into unplanned career changes. What at first glance may be considered a misfortune can be the change needed to open up to new ideas which would never have crossed our mind. Learning new skills for which we otherwise would not have had the time and seeing our possibilities, which we would have overlooked while being busy.

Words formerly only known from the news get a tangible personal meaning. Just like the gentle wind created by a butterfly’s wing on a far away island, resulting in a storm in our vicinity (chaos theory), suddenly doors are flying open giving us a glimpse of understanding how we are globally interconnected. Breaking through old crusted structures, we lift our heads, looking around not sure what to make of it. Our mind has no reference yet to what we are looking at, what lays ahead. All we see is change happening all around us, unavoidable and going back not being an option. In such times people search for orientation, look upon leaders for guidance, help and answers.

So what does it take to be the ‘new’ leader? A true leader sees change as opportunity not as problem. And what skills does it take? More than ever people skills, self-mastery and emotional intelligence are required, features naturally inherent mainly in female. Sorry male readers, but women are by nature more caring. Sorry female readers, this does not mean that every woman has all these skills fully developed.

It is never easy to lay off people or to bring across why hours need to be cut or an entire section moved. These are no longer times for making just smart moves. Narrow minded, short sighted and ego oriented leadership decisions to advance or secure one’s own job can now be fatal for a business, company or any type of organization (including politics). A much broader overall perspective and understanding is needed, going beyond one’s own person or the company / organization - representing major opportunities for personal growth.

People are on the move – globally – for economic and political reasons, languages not being obstacles. We may meet former employees, managers, teachers and politicians under a totally different scenario. Teachers can turn into students and former employees into ‘new’ leaders. These times allow leaders to correct strategies and inefficient structures, including their own. Wearing a behavioral mask, pretending an identity we are not, no longer works. Those masks are falling and the truth is revealed. Being honest, true and real as a leader, not just in private, is the only possible consequence. For some leaders this may mean having to reinvent themselves. Which is best done through the help of a coach.

Values are shifting, also in the work environment. More and more people are opening up to a ‘new’ sense enabling them to feel an additional realm of reality, the spiritual world. They ask themselves: What are my hopes, my dreams? What is really important? What are my true values? A leader with a holistic understanding, inner strength and well balanced energy between family, self and work, who can answer questions and help people realize their potential earns their highest respect. Such a leader shines his/her Light, emitting an energy that not only energizes themselves but also energizes others. As a result they get things executed and implemented.

The big chances and rewards of the ‘new’ leaders spring from making intelligent decisions, having courage for taking responsibility, living the example, turning obstacles into opportunities and navigating people so their potential is best utilized for their own and the highest overall goal. The ‘new’ leaders encourage people to go forward with their ideas. And if those ideas should lead to opportunities and unto another path, help them make the move forward. People who feel supported in their development will go the extra mile you need for your success as a leader. They in turn will build your support system – wherever they may be. You both strengthen one another. Networking gets a richer meaning. Word will get around and perfectly matched, highly qualified people will want to work for and with you, wherever you go – law of attraction at work (literally).

A glance towards the future. The workplace of the future – more an organism than an organization? Not to take away peoples creativity, but how about the idea of building task oriented groups (on all levels). Groups formed and working together only for the duration of time it takes until the goal is reached / project accomplished. They are the ‘builders’ or ‘starters’. Then another group or groups (depending on volume/size) take over and run the project/task, for as long as it may be useful and needed. All types of personality can find fulfilling work in such scenario, all parts are evenly important as the whole can not be accomplished when not all parts work in harmony. Remuneration for completed projects/tasks finally provide a sense of getting things done. More gets done in shorter time. Efficiency and ‘time flies when you are having fun’ could become a new synonym for work. Too good to be true? Sounds like a game? Daydreaming? What speaks against having fun working? We could have so much fun, feeling so fulfilled that we no longer consider work as such – and maybe one day have to look up the word in a dictionary to find out what it meant.

Ruth Hildegard Henrich, MBA, RMT, RMT-SKHM, executive and life coach. Ruth is an international experienced former senior financial analyst and comptroller with specialization in financial system design and coordination. Following her spiritual calling since 1999 she teaches leadership skills that consistently improve your daily life, resulting in a fulfilling, happier and consequently more successful performance as a leader. Her retreats enlighten with new holistic ideas, immediately transferable into daily life. Find out more at www.RuthHenrichGroup.com under Coaching/Consulting  Phone: 831.402.3939 Email: contact@RuthHenrichGroup.

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