Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Two lessons in Wartime leadership

I first came across this phrase while reading the book- "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" where Ben Horowitz articulates a clear distinction between a Wartime and a Peacetime CEO. It is one thing to read about Wartime leadership & entirely a different one seeing it in action.

Sharing two of my learnings by observing recent events:

1. Be honest and transparent with your team:

Seems like a fundamental thing to do, but it is often the most difficult in times of crisis- when you don't have all the answers.
Mariott CEO Arne Sorenson addressed his employees after the impact of Covid19 on his industry became apparent. This 5 minute speech is a case study in compassionate, authentic leadership. He presents himself as vulnerable yet fully in control of situation.

2. In times of crisis, Speed trumps Perfection:

Dr. Michael Ryan, an authority in handling epidemics said something profound-

Be fast, have no regrets. You must be the first mover. The virus will always get you if you don’t move quickly. Perfection is the enemy of the good when it comes to emergency management. Speed trumps perfection.
Be fast, have no regrets. The problem in society we have at the moment is that everyone is afraid of making a mistake. Everyone is afraid of the consequence of error. But the greatest error is not to move. The greatest error is to be paralysed by the fear of failure. If you need to be right before you move, you will never win. Speed trumps perfection. Perfection is the enemy of good when it comes to emergency responses.

What did these times teach you about #leadership ?

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