When chaos strikes, this is how the best leaders respond

When chaos strikes, this is how the best leaders respond | practice | Don't hide in your office. Be present for your team
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November 27, 2023
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Leading the Way
When chaos strikes, this is how the best leaders respond
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The firing of Sam Altman from OpenAI and the drama and chaos that ensued in his return should remind all leaders that such times require a strong foundation of trust in and between your teams that should have been laid long ago and the creativity necessary to try new ideas to move forward. "Leaders who understand how the ebbs and flows of life relate to the challenges and successes in the enterprise will be the ones who know just when to relinquish control and trust their employees -- which fuels success," says Henrique Dubugras and Neal Narayani of Brex.
Full Story: Fast Company (tiered subscription model) (11/26) 
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Put it into practice: Precise and quick communication is critical to creating calm when chaos hits, writes Alexa von Tobel. "Yes, you need to solve the root problem, but communication can help make everyone feel brought along the journey with you and give them the confidence that you have it under control," von Tobel notes.
Smarter Communication
Don't hide in your office. Be present for your team
(Pixabay)
Build trust with your team by being transparent in your communication, acknowledging their concerns, following through on your commitments and giving them a sense of how their work contributes to the overall success of the company, writes leadership coach Marcel Schwantes. "This can be done by communicating how their work, even the most mundane tasks, ties into the company mission, strategy, and end goals," Schwantes notes.
Full Story: Inc. (tiered subscription model) (11/25) 
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Put it into practice: Keep the lines of communication with your team open by sharing vital information and your vision with them and making time to listen to their concerns to head off any potential crises, Schwantes writes. "Transparency builds trust, and they become more confident about the future."
It's not always easy to be both leader and friend, but it can be done if you set expectations from the outset, Harry Kraemer, former CEO of Baxter International and a clinical professor of leadership, explains on the "Kellogg Insights" podcast. For example, let them know up front -- politely -- that you now have to hold them accountable, Kraemer says.
Full Story: Kellogg Insight (11/20) 
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Put it into practice: Start your new boss role with a listening tour of your team members. Let them know that you'll explain why if your decisions don't mesh with their advice. Always communicate well at the outset to avoid misunderstandings; then, if they break your trust, it will be easier to know how to react, Kraemer says.
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Smarter Working
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Alleviate the stress of returning to work after a holiday by spending some time in the morning on tasks you enjoy, bringing some holiday leftovers for lunch and getting up from your desk frequently to stretch or take a walk, writes Mark Murphy, author, speaker and founder of LeadershipIQ.com. "This isn't a productivity hack, but it's a simple way to infuse a tiny bit of happiness into your day," Murphy writes.
Full Story: Forbes (tiered subscription model) (11/24) 
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Daily Diversion
From squirrels to cadavers -- pre-Google librarians knew
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When we want to know something, we Google it, but in the early 20th century, librarians served as human search engines, fielding calls on hotlines or in-person and writing or typing them, along with the answers on index cards. Some of the more interesting questions include this one from 1948: "Where can I get all available statistics on volume of business, money involved, etc. in the sale of cadavers?" and this one from 1976: "Why do 18th-century English paintings have so many squirrels in them, and how did they tame them so that they wouldn't bite the painter?"
Full Story: My Modern Met (11/24) 
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About The Editor
Candace Chellew
Candace Chellew
Chellew
As those of us here in the US return to our offices -- whether remote or in-person -- we may still be in a holiday daze. If you had a four-day weekend like me, it may have been a challenge to keep the days straight at the beginning. There's no doubt that today is Monday, though.

Mark Murphy's advice about easing back into our work routines after a holiday can serve us well. Set aside some uninterrupted time to catch up from your time away and plan your week, include some creative activities and avoid overloading your schedule just because you may feel behind.

Also, Murphy advises not to go back to sitting for long periods after all the activities of the holidays. "Going from that level of physical activity to sitting at a desk can be mentally taxing, so do something during the day that breaks up the physical monotony."

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break! Welcome back.

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