Adapt and Thrive

Originally posted on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/adapt-thrive-stuart-mills/

One of the most powerful callouts we developed in our team last year was “let’s take a breath”. We would say this – when conversations were going around in circles or becoming unproductive – so that we would all get back to context and focused. Never in a million years did we think that most of the world would be pressing the pause button together, nor for the reason we have. Let’s use this time to think more deeply, to adapt to new situations, and as we go about our daily lives now – and as we come out of this crisis – to act in ways we all (not the few) thrive.

My heart and thanks goes out to everyone who is dealing directly with COVID-19, we will get through this if those who can #stayhomesavelives to allow those in key roles to save us.

This last month was already going to be a bit of a rollercoaster for me – starting a new role (which I’m loving), getting to know a whole new set of people, and deciding on my younger son’s next school. So many daily decisions to make, most of them -in the scheme of things – small. Little did I think that all of our decision making skills, all our good judgement, all our leadership skills, would be so critical and in focus for the really big things that now face us.

From my experience I’ve always seen life as a balancing act of actions and choices, to be guided by a strong moral compass. Staying strong needs hoperesilienceequality, and learning. Four things have really helped me – over the last few days – to learn, think and make decisions. I hope they are helpful to you:

  1. Read What philosophy can teach you about being a better leader – by Alison Reynolds, Dominic Houlder, Jules Goddard, David Lewis. “In this book we bring to life the voices of great philosophers and hear what they have to say about human flourishing. If you can bring their insights into the workplace – as a leader or led – then you and those in your care will no longer be tools or cogs in someone else’s machine.”
  2. Listen to this webinar from LBS – Making difficult judgments in coronavirus times (articlerecording) – by Sir Andrew Likierman, Professor of Management Practice. Plus there is a supporting HBR article on the elements of good judgment“Judgement – the ability to combine personal qualities with relevant knowledge and experiences to form opinions and make decisions – is the core of exemplary leadership.”
  3. Online learning about Systems. There is a great series by SI on Udemy. To quote the description of the Systems Innovation module… “Around the world, societies face complex challenges as we find ourselves in a time of transformation. As advanced economies move out of an industrial mode we see public institutions in crisis, our most critical systems in various stages of stalling, while the environmental challenge to build a sustainable future appears to grow ever greater and more pressing. At the same time societies’ problem-solving capacities are at a record high, people are more informed and educated, there is more capital floating around than ever before – at the same time, many people want to be engaged in creating a different world and technology is enabling society to perform large collaborative tasks more effectively and at ever lower cost.”
  4. The example set by my company, Salesforce: Our top priority is keeping our employees, customers, and communities as healthy and as safe as possible. Here are a few ways Team Trailhead is providing support during this unprecedented time.”

As you and your family adapt to the current situation I hope you can find and help others find ways to thrive. Let’s help – those hit by COVID-19 directly, and keeping us safe – by adapting, thriving, being Trailblazers:

Pioneers, innovators, lifelong learners, movers and shakers. Leaders who leaves paths for others to follow. Most importantly, people who build a better world for others.

I’m starting to see some wonderful stories of people and organisations adapting and hopeful for thriving. At a time when these stories are not leading – partly by the necessity of ensuring we have clear COVID-19 immediate responses – please do what you can to share the good stories as they come so others can learn, adapt and thrive.


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