Leading in Times of Crisis, by David L Dotlich, Peter C Cairo and Stephen H Rhinesmith
Jacqueline Davies, head of talent, Lloyds Banking Group
Leadership is reaching an almost impossible level of complexity, and recent economic events have created the perfect storm for leaders out there trying to make businesses work.
That’s the central message of the latest book from management consultancy group Oliver Wyman, whose authors argue that even our most accomplished leaders are exhausted and confused by the challenges of these turbulent times.
The key to riding the storm is leadership style and, in particular, the need to be a whole leader: ‘head, heart and guts’. The authors provide useful questions to help leaders review their approach to uncertainty, backing this up with fascinating insights from business and politics, notably from the Obama election campaign.
Their guidance is simple: be clear about what you have the courage to be known for, prioritise relationships and lead everyone, not just those who report directly to you. They revisit the idea of enterprise leadership, in particular the need to bring diversity into the leadership population: their rationale is that a broad range of leaders widens the organisation’s capacity to roll with change.
Crucially, the authors challenge us to revisit our own leadership agendas – being clear about what’s important to us and addressing those ‘mind bugs’, or unconscious biases, that limit our thinking.
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