Pat Lencioni: Leading in a Down Economy

I read an interesting article by Patrick Lencioni this morning that reminded me of the post I put up the other week. Patrick argued in his article

“Well, so far I’ve resisted jumping onto the “down economy” bandwagon, not wanting to contribute to any self-fulfilling prophecy or culture of victimization that can make a bad situation worse.” Pat Lencioni (you can sign up for his point of view emails at the link attached to his name) 

I read in his article the very point of view I was arguing. I do believe that we create the environment we see in front of us and all around us. As a leader we have a formidable responsibility to create the right environment for success. Leadership author and Warren Bennis uses the term “mastering the context” I have always loved this phrase because this is the domain and work of leaders. Our job is to create an environment where people are hopeful about the future and committed to working hard through the down times to get to that better end result.

What can we do to achieve this?

“Be real”

I advise strongly against being Pollyanna ish and pretending things are well when they are not. A leader needs to be in front of his team telling them how it really is. What are the challenges, how can we pull together to address them. What has been done already to secure our shared future.        

At the same time do not be all doom and gloom. Wear a smile when you do not feel one. Have trusted team members be your mirror sharing with you when you look worried or withdrawn. Remember you are always on stage and the behaviors you share are far more powerful than even the words you use.       

Search for the good and feature it. Understand the bad and share it objectively.Now more than ever your job is to communicate to your team. Most importantly this includes listening to their fears and concerns      

There is much much more but that is more than enough for us to practice for now       

Lead well      


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