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Developing Leaders That Can Serve in the Good Times and the Bad

July 8, 2021

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Leaders must perform well even during the tough times.  While all organizations have crises, over the past year every organization experienced the same crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic.  There are several guiding principles to leading during a crisis:

Guiding Principles

  1. The Ability to Lead with Respect
  2. The Freedom to Unleash Passionate Pursuits
  3.   The Flexibility to Anticipate the Unexpected
  4. The Inspiration to See Opportunities in Everything

The Ability to Lead with Respect

How a leader reacts during a time of crisis will either cause them to gain respect or lose respect.  Top leaders will gain respect.  A crisis puts your organization’s culture and leadership to the test.  A great leader should engage and build unity during uncertainty. 

How a leader looks out for the needs of their workforce speaks volumes.  This takes emotional intelligence and the ability to respect others and ask for feedback.  Putting the health and safety of your organization first before yourself builds trust.

type of entrepreneurial attitude has allowed some organizations to remain open and thrive. 

The Freedom to Unleash Passional Pursuits

Strong leaders will trust their instinct and lead with passion. They go into “exploration mode”, which allows leaders to reconnect with their roots, embrace change, and take ownership.  They will look upon their own personal values as they seek solutions to the crisis at hand.

The Flexibility to Anticipate the Unexpected

While no one could predict the pandemic, once it hit, it was important for leaders to see beyond the initial crisis and predict what needed to be addressed within their organizations.  For example, maintaining employee engagement, identify new opportunities, adjusting the corporate strategy, etc.

The inspiration to See Opportunities in Everything

Those leaders who view life with a “glass half full” perspective will certainly learn, rebound, and reinvent themselves when faced with uncertainty.  Good leaders turn challenges into opportunities.

Leadership Development

So how do you develop leadership in your organization so that your leaders are prepared for the next crisis – whether it’s big or small?

Leadership Academy

ASE’s Leadership Academy, taught by MBC Training & Development LLC, helps organizations develop their current and future leadership strength. The Leadership Academy is designed to be offered over a period of months in order to build on skills taught and maximize reinforcement.  The program takes an integrated approach with real-world application. Assignments comes with ROI components for the organization they represent.  Participants are requested to involve their employees in assignments and participate openly with current and relevant issues.

This series will assist supervisors and managers in the following ways:

  • Increased leadership knowledge, skill, competency, and confidence
  • Stronger leadership bench strength
  • Increased cross-functional knowledge
  • Stronger network and teamwork
  • More confident speakers/presenters
  • Increased project management skills
  • Company ROI from individual and group projects

Some examples of recent Leadership Academy graduate success stories include:

$40K Annual Savings
The Leadership Academy’s (LA) student’s goal was to create a program for digitizing HR records.  The company was able to save $40k annually, have a .5 FTE reduction, and a .5 FTE labor reduction. In subsequent years they realized a savings of $56K.

$50K Annual Savings
This LA group’s project was to develop a system for managing the organization’s equipment.  After the new system was created, the organization realized a savings of $50k annually on equipment management and tracking costs.

Increased Retention
The goal for this LA group was to create a high-potential employee program. The goal was to build their leadership bench strength and retain employees with high potential.  15 high potentials were trained in the 1st year and by the 2nd year of the new program, 50% of the high-potential employees received a promotion.

$19k Annual Savings
This organization saw a savings of $19k a year by developing a barcoding system through the Leadership Academy.

$500k Annual Savings
An LA group developed a program for standardizing equipment across workstations which saved the organization $500K per year.

$250K Annual Savings
By creating a scrap reduction program via a Leadership Academy project, the organization realized a savings of $250K per year.

The Leadership Academy is designed to create sustainable behavior. One organization’s president stated, “I can’t believe I see people from other departments talking to each other more now than ever before.”  Another stated, “…less conflict is being brought to me.”

The program teaches collaboration, confidence, and problem solving.  Build your organization’s bench strength now, before the next crisis hits.

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