Weekend Leadership Reading: 4/17/20

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about leadership in a crisis.

From Ken Blanchard: 5 Strategies for Leading Through The Uncertainty Of COVID-19

“As we move through this global pandemic, now is a good time to review and respond wisely to the five stages of concern people have during periods of change:”

From Irving Wladawsky-Berger: Dealing with a Highly Unpredictable Future

“The high degree of uncertainty surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic is one of its most frustrating qualities. How long will the pandemic last? When will normal life return? When will a vaccine be available? Not only don’t we have definitive answers, we don’t even know how to best frame these critical questions. The answers we get from the most trusted of experts feel too vague, – their explanations by caveats and probabilities, – as they should. How can we start making sense of such an unpredictable future?”

From Jack McGuinness: Leading In A Crisis: Embrace The Uncertainty

“The challenge that leaders face in a crisis is that their organizations aren’t typically set up to operate with such uncertainty. Leaders create visions, plans and metrics to attempt to control their environments and minimize uncertainty as best they can. In a crisis many leaders default to what they know how to do in order to reduce frustration and quell their own and others’ fears.[i] This default mode is simply not productive and rather than reduce uncertainty and anxiety it increases both.”

From Marc Berman and Tracy Thurkow: Covid-19 Creates a Moment of Truth for Corporate Culture

“Focusing on your company’s purpose and values will help you make the right decisions during this crisis.”

From Ed Batista: Leadership in Crisis (FDR and the Rubber Band Effect)

“To discuss a theme I’m seeing in my work with leaders on a daily basis I need to go back 80 years into the past. Why? Because from a certain angle, the year 2020 looks a lot like 1940.”

From the London Business School: I learned how to run businesses during the difficult times

“Paul Atherton MBA26(1989) tells founders that their lessons from this crisis will be the most valuable for their future lives”

From Phil Kleweno and Pete Gerend: How to Make Your Teams Stronger in a Crisis

“The most effective teams do four specific things consistently and well. Crisis poses challenges to teams, but by strengthening those four traits, they can come out stronger.”

From the London Business School: How to lead for good when times are bad

“Six tips for leaders from London Business School’s Leadership Institute”

Book Suggestions

Leadership: In Turbulent Times by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Forged in Crisis: The Making of Five Courageous Leaders by Nancy F. Koehn

Thinking In Time: The Uses Of History For Decision Makers by Richard E. Neustadt and Ernest May

You’re It: Crisis, Change, and How to Lead When It Matters Most by Leonard J. Marcus, Eric J. McNulty , et al.

Every Monday, I do a blog post about business reading and business books. Follow this link to my review of The making of a manager: what to do when everyone looks to you by Julie Zhuo.

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