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Lessons in Leadership - Optimism and Learning

Last week's Monday Morning Leadership Meeting at Butler Street was different.Typically, the leaders review the financial results, share opportunities in the pipeline, assess client risk and mitigation strategies, review marketing and operational objectives, and discuss content development needs. This time it was "all hands on deck," and the entire team at Butler Street participated in the meeting.

The goal wasn't to put a business continuity plan in place. It wasn't to figure out how we could be productive from home offices or how to collaborate using technology or video conferencing. Those things are needed, and we do have them in place. Instead, we put ourselves in our client's operating reality in this changing environment, compelling us to see opportunities and challenges as they exist through your eyes.

If we solve our customers' problems… we'll solve our own.®

It was a productive meeting and the outcomes of which you'll see from Butler Street as our solutions evolve as well. Most importantly, I would like to share what I learned about leadership in that meeting.

The Importance of Optimism for Innovation

Mike, our Founder & Managing Partner, began the meeting talking about optimism. With crisis comes opportunity. Now more than ever is the need for innovation. We can become victims of the changing environment or help our clients in new ways to achieve their goals. It starts with a positive attitude - the first of The Four Cornerstones of Success®.

As a leader, you must work to minimize negativity in the workplace (and today's virtual workplace). Attitude really is the #1 predictor of success! It impacts how you react to setbacks and is 100% in your control. Look for opportunities to solve your customers' problems in new ways.

Innovation can be incremental (adding new features to existing products or services) or disruptive (applying new technology or processes) in existing markets or architectural (applying solutions to a new market) or radical (transforming an industry or solution) innovation in new markets. There are other types and variations of innovation. But the main point is to remain optimistic and really seek to understand the political, economic, social, technological, legal, environmental (PESTLE) factors as a source of innovation.

Offer Care & Development

Mike showed genuine care and interest for each person on the entire Butler Street team, our health and wellbeing, and that of our families. We discussed how each person would contribute to the organization (now with twice the effort and half of the return), continue to learn and develop new skills, and practice those skills to grow professionally to support Butler Street's long-term strategy and of our clients. We have multiplied our communication efforts by 3x to keep everyone connected and advancing toward the vision.

It may go without saying, but in times like these, employees need to know that you care for them personally and professionally. Use video conferencing for more frequent team meetings and to have face-to-face one-on-ones to encourage and develop personal relationships. Leverage the opportunity to build your skillset and those around you for long-term organizational growth.

A company is only as good as the people who represent it. The only thing that remains constant is change. The ability to change requires the ability to learn. We must create learning organizations.

In summary, what I learned about leadership this week is that leaders can be optimistic and inspire those around them or panic and instill fear. What's your choice? As a leader, all eyes and ears are on you. Innovate to adapt to your customers' changing needs. Offer care and development to your team, and don't stop learning.

Let us know how you are doing and let Butler Street help when you need it most. We offer a range of learning opportunities from leadership, sales, and recruiting effectiveness eLearning courses to virtual instructor-led training and are always rooting for your success!


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