Healthy Companies Blog

The Healthy Leader – January 2012

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Will You Overcome?

The Euro Zone debt crisis… Government gridlock… Sabre rattling in the Straits of Hormuz… Much as you’d like to enter 2012 riding a fresh wave of optimism, the headlines continue to trumpet ominous threats to the world’s fragile economy.

What Great Leaders Know

Great leaders know that life is inherently impermanent. Nothing stays the same. In any era, events beyond your control can batter your sense of security. The biggest danger is that a nagging uncertainty will erode your effectiveness as a leader, grinding down your team’s capacity to perform in the process. To counter those effects, look first to your own emotional health: Observe your feelings. Consciously manage your anxiety. Achieve balance. Then, embrace the world as it is. As important, pay close attention to your team’s social health. Study how team members interact with you and each other. Watch for signs that stress is damaging relationships. If you do see signs of stress, or want to prevent them in the first place, here are some healthy ways to lessen the negative effects of persistent uncertainty:

  • Tighten team bonds. Actively cultivate an attitude of “We’re all in this together.”
  • Clarify and affirm. Clarify your team’s direction. Revisit your many shared strengths.
  • Alleviate stress. Ask your people what frustrates them in their daily work. Work as a team to remove as many unhealthy stressors as you can.
  • Aim high. Invite your team to take charge of their destiny. Resolve to do something big together in 2012.

Will you persevere?

It is human nature to long for a certain kind of future and then grow attached to the picture of that future in our minds. Yet the world rarely conforms to our wishes. Perseverance—following a course of action in spite of difficulties—stems from acceptance of what is, and from your determination to make the most of every moment.

Ask yourself…

  • How did the uncertainty of 2011 make me feel?
  • What would I have done differently, were I to relive last year?
  • What steps will I take to help myself and my team embrace 2012 with confidence?

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READ a complimentary Healthy Companies Classic, Leading Corporate Renewal, with Sidney Taurel of Eli Lilly.

“My first priority was to re-engage the hearts and mind of employees. We’d be working in a very tough environment, and I felt we needed to re-instill the pride of working at Lilly—to save people’s lives and work in a very ethical company. We needed to build a company that could renew itself.”

— Sidney Taurel
    CEO (1998–2008) of Eli Lilly
    and Company

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