Leadership Transformation – To stay afloat and sail away in challenging times

No doubt about the severity of the economic crisis the world is facing. Responsible leaders need to rise up to the challenges or the alternative is just too painful for everyone in the organization.

In this challenging times we may use our previous experience but there are those challenges which is totally unique and you have never experience before. I have the privilege of having served the Navy where leadership challenges are aplenty. The Navy has this functional mission in the following order of priority; to float to move and to fight. The ultimate goal is to win the fight, but there will be occasions where the captain just need to ensure the ship float. Withdraw , go back to your anchorage, repair your ship so that you can fight another battle.

By God’s grace, I am thankful to have an organization that is ahead of its time. We are at least a year ahead in the transformation process. We started the transformation about a year ago when we had our LITTLE crisis.Little? who said little?

In this uncertain times there are leadership attributes that come in handy. Here is a list which you can find in natural leaders or from management books

a. Be innovative yourself and promote innovations. Being an engineer help as we are not afraid of change. Do not be afraid to change course and seize opportunities.
b. Engage, get out of your bubble and comfort zone. The trouble is your staff will feel that you are breathing behind their neck, be prepared to lose those who refuse to change. To those business unit leaders, beside engaging your staff engage your president, your board and your shareholders.
c. Monitor and adjust. The infrastructure thankfully is in place. The business executives and business managers at business unit level are to provide information to the leaders.
d. Communicate, communicate and communicate. Communicate HOPE. Make it real. People are generally fair, unless of course they have self interests to protect. They will be glad to be part of the TEAM if they know the direction and the way to get there.
e. Get your hands dirtied, understand thoroughly processes. How are we to improve efficiency leverage resources if we do not know how a tank is to be made, when tanks are your main product line.
f. Be courageous, do not be afraid and if necessary be combative. This is no ordinary time, this is a time when you could be eaten alive.
g. Last but not least be COOL. Even if you wet your pants, stay calm. I am thankful I inherit my late father’s coolness. He was a cool cat. I am just more handsome.


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