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Harness the Current

Access Continuum’s Leadership Model for leading through novel unknowns

Continuum Consulting Services LLC

We are living and working in a world that is constantly changing, unstable, reactionary and often divisive. Welcome to the  VUCA World.

What does it take to lead in such tumultuous times?  

Human beings are dynamic and messy, and we bring that complex diversity with us wherever we go, including the workplace. We are also filled with potential and the changes ahead hold many possibilities. The leaders of today must have what I refer to as, “a balance between a clear head, a compassionate heart, and a firm backbone.” That means they are visionary and strategic, can express compassion and empathy, and have the ability to be firm, direct and decisive.

In addition to innovating and executing strategy, leaders must embrace differences—in personality styles and perspectives, be outstanding communicators, and manage the interpersonal conflicts and dramas that inevitably erupt. In other words, the workplace demands leaders to have a high level of Emotional Intelligence so they can fully engage and empower their people.

One leader’s story

Mike Hughes’ June 3, 2020, social media post

As a leadership development coach and consultant, I’ve had the opportunity to know hundreds of leaders around the globe. One who stood out recently is Michael Hughes, the President and CEO of Elevation Labs, LLC, a progressive manufacturer in the beauty and personal care sector.

When the protests began across the world in response to the killing of George Floyd, Hughes sent out a social media post explaining where Elevation Labs stood on the matter. He told me it was important to him that people knew where he and the company stand even if some people disagreed.

Hughes expressed to the company, “I am a true believer that everyone should be given the opportunity to bring their full self to work….that means not being worried about being singled out for being different, not worrying about people talking behind your back, not worrying about promotion opportunities because of who you are.”

His actions exemplified a clear head and strategic mindset, a compassionate heart and a firm moral backbone.

Business is all about the people

Business success has everything to do with its people. How we treat each other in the workplace determines the business culture; it reveals whether or not a company’s values are being lived every day or collecting dust in a frame hanging in the hallway.

Great companies know this. Indeed, Procter and Gamble (P&G), a multinational consumer goods corporation, has boasted for decades about the power of its people. It was Richard Redwood Deupree, P&G’s CEO in the 1950s who said, “If you leave us our money, buildings and brands, and take away our people, the Company will fail. But if you take all of that away and leave us our people, we can rebuild the whole thing and be successful within a decade.”

Father knows best

My Dad is a mechanical engineer, who retired as the Vice President of Real Estate for Prudential Financial®. He knew the job required more than engineering expertise and contracts. As an advisor to the Engineering School at Penn State University, he convinced them to improve their program by replacing some of the high-level engineering courses with leadership and interpersonal relationship skills courses.

My Dad’s wisdom is inherent in the work I do with leaders. Client testimonies have confirmed when a leader balances a strategic mind and tactical expertise with empathy and compassion, focusing on the relational side of the business, performance and productivity are better. But the most rewarding outcome is when leaders transfer this wisdom home, enriching relationships with their loved ones and transforming their home life. That’s the ultimate payoff.

Happy Father’s Day!