Leadership is the process of bringing a new and generally unwelcome reality to an individual, organization or setting, and helping them successfully adapt to it.
-Rony Heifetz (as quoted in a Harvard Kennedy School study (by Dutch Leonard) on Leadership in High Uncertainty Environments, as part of Young Global Leaders executive program.
- On the danger (and opportunity) of Vantage Bias:
When you are holding a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail.
Cognitive Biases to watch against: giving too much weight to personal experience/illusion of experience; overconfidence of influence/power, or ability to predict future, and of ability to control future; ignoring disconfirming evidence; inability to perceive radical change; escalation of commitment in the face of "evidence"; tendency to turn issues into personal convictions;
- Affirm Values at Difficult Moments
- Never let bad news be a surprise; prepare people to enable them to adapt
- Eye contact in some African countries is disrespectful.
- Build deep team cohesion during times of stability to enable you to deal with uncertainty in the future
- To manage well in a crisis, prepare AHEAD by thinking of, and hiring, the right people with the right values – resilience, team spirit, loyalty, courage
- Create structured discipline in the mundane, so the unanticipated is compensated by expectable outcomes
- Grounded Confidence is important; false optimism is not sustainable;
- Learning most effective when: Positive, Immediate, Certain, and Reinforced.
- Ensure issue (rather than person putting it forward) is what is evaluated and ranked.
- Listen to warning systems – forms of dissent, dissonance; encourage feedback;
- Don’t dismiss disconfirming evidence; question if you are not too narrowly focused – lighthouse/boat scenario; must remain open to possibility that you are wrong;
- A leader can change the conditions in which the team operates, out of which new models for leadership will emerge.
- Ecologist: when you reach in and try to take out anything out of the universe, you find out that it is interconnected to everything else.