It's real, but is it reasonable?
People MATTER(S)Sunday, October 03, 2021
with Carolyn Bolt
Welcome! Join us as we dive into the dynamic and crucial, yet often misunderstood and barely tolerated world of human resources (HR).
COVID-19 has been a stark reminder that life is extremely unpredictable, and that, in many cases, our organisations were more vulnerable to unanticipated events than we may have been prepared for.
In the almost two years of this seemingly never-ending pandemic, nobody knows this better than leadership. Challenging and complicated on a good day, there is no doubt that this has been an extremely difficult test of our leadership mettle.
Addressing the unique, unexpected, and ever-evolving issues rests with you as the leader:
• Finding answers to questions that were never asked before
• Finding solutions to situations that were never faced before
• Cutting budgets that were just cut
• Rationalising teams that were just rationalised
• Changing strategies that were just changed
• Figuring out what communication, engagement and accountability should now look like
• Managing team members whose personal and work lives have collided, and whose needs and priorities have shifted
• Managing your own smashed together work and personal combo life
• Finding ways to encourage collaboration among teams who no longer share the same space
• Finding ways to lead and engage your team members who you now rarely “see”.
The list goes on. Hard decisions have become the order of the day. The demands are endless and very real, the stakes are high, and almost two years in, many leaders are exhausted.
SUPERMAN OR CLARK KENT?
Good leaders are expected to anticipate changes and challenges, and they're also expected to figure out what needs to be adjusted so that the team, and by extension the company, can successfully make it through the tumultuous times.
Good leaders are expected to have the capacity to skilfully navigate uncharted, turbulent waters and get the team to the other side intact, with little to no damage to either the culture or the bottom line.
Good leaders are expected to be resilient, courageous, adaptable, and empathetic. They're expected to inspire their teams to remain committed when direction is unclear, and strategy is fluid.
Good leaders are expected to be vulnerable and human in order to inspire; but not too vulnerable and human, lest their direct reports wonder if they're strong enough to lead them through the crises.
Level-up. Be real. Suck it up. Be vulnerable. Get it done. Be supportive. In other words, good leaders are expected to be both Superman and Clark Kent rolled into one. It's good for TV, but is this reasonable in real life?
Show. Tell. Give. Me.
So often this is our approach to our leaders, but perhaps that should also include Supported, Respected, Appreciated and Us.
Here's to looking out for our human superheroes.
Talk more soon,
My name is Carolyn Bolt. HR happened upon me seven years ago, and there has been no turning back from this challenging, critical, very rewarding and often frustrating matter of people since then. Reach me at email@example.com.