This week the Goodyear Tire Company had a bad day. An employee at its Topeka factory leaked a photo of a diversity and inclusion slide which listed both acceptable clothing expressions — “Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Pride (LGBT)” — and unacceptable clothing expressions—”Blue Lives Matter, All Lives Matter, MAGA, Politically Affiliated Slogans or Materials.”
President Trump’s failure to understand and communicate the nature of hope was the fatal flaw in the early weeks of his COVID-19 crisis briefings to the nation. Park your politics and examine how the President fell into the optimism trap.
Politics is often the best place to learn about leadership. Between now and the election, I will produce some provocative pieces on leadership from both sides of the political divide. So, try to park your politics and consider the leadership lessons you can learn as the presidential election news cycle heats up.
Priority Thinking founder and head leadership coach, Peter DeMarco, wrote an article several years ago which gave the reader tools to combat the “noonday devil” that tempts sluggishness and despair from a person and draws them away from their duties.
Around the year 300 A.D., Christian hermits, monks, ascetics and other holy men and women flocked to the Egyptian deserts in droves. There, under the hot North African sun, many of these individuals frequently experienced what they called “the noonday devil.”
Purposeful perplexity is a form of laziness found in some employees who possess the capacity to think and reason yet feign a state of confusion to avoid putting forth the effort to solve their own problems. The purpose behind the perplexity could be innocent and resolvable, like a fear of failure, low confidence, or lack of motivation. Or, it could be more sinister, like willful exploitation of the leader and the organization.
The U.S. Department of Labor notes that Labor Day “constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” That all sounds nice, but these statements are missing one very important word: Leisure.
A “sense of urgency” is made up of two parts:
1. the extent to which we perceive a situation or problem as important and
2. whether that situation or problem requires swift action over deliberate action.
To make sound decisions, leaders need command of both the details (the “How”) and bottom-line impact (the “What”) of challenges as they arise. To help their followers make sound decisions and respond correctly to these challenges, leaders must also be skilled at conveying messages clearly, effectively and quickly. Effective communicators know the key is providing information in the right order: Tell the What first; then explain How you got there.