I’m not a senior manager, what can I do in times of chaos?

A guide to leading people from any level during times of chaos

  • Help to support effective decision making. Understand that decisions are being made quickly, and priorities may change
  • Recognize when to lead and when to follow
  • Help to ensure information is communicated effectively, but keep to the facts and avoid the ‘telephone’ game
  • Listen & encourage others to be part of the solution
  • Champion change and demonstrate desired behaviours
  • Share insights from our clients and suppliers
  • Enable people with digital tools
  • Innovate, co-create and collaborate
  • Create space
  • Lead by your core values, always

Understand

We’re here for you

  • Trust in their ability to make decisions. Recognize that they may change and that they do not have all the answers
  • Recognize that priorities are shifting; things that were important may no longer be
  • Ask your leaders for decision-making guidelines so you feel empowered to operate confidently
  • Help your staff and team understand where your senior management team is coming from. Be honest and candid
  • Help to educate your senior managers when they are “missing the mark” (see below)
  • Ensure operational processes are being followed, including new procedures designed to protect employees and stakeholders
  • Focus on aligning your work with current business strategies, and be ready to shift focus based on changing priorities
  • Mimic desired behaviours and core values

Communicate

Help leaders understand the real questions (aka the water cooler talk)

Support and enable each other

Foster a safe environment, encourage candour and practice empathy

  • Create a group of change champions to help people work more effectively from home
  • Start any of the digital projects I’ve listed in the section below!
  • Suggest new productivity tools to your manager or IT team
  • Run a virtual lunch & learn or share a how-to guide on using tools effectively
  • Virtually ideate solutions to new problems
  • Leverage their network to gather information quickly
  • Integrate new tools to address new gaps or issues

Take care of yourself

Take stock

  • Be genuine
  • Be a trusted advisor to our clients
  • Act with integrity
  • Innovate

Gillian is a dynamic leader focused on driving growth, transformation, and technology adoption, including AI. She is a keynote speaker and an active volunteer.

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