Balancing Leadership Pressures: Performing and Transforming

There are two sides to leadership: performing and transforming.  

Where does one draw the line between executing daily tasks, replying to Teams/Slack messages, problem solving, managing capacity, innovation and future planning? 

“Leaders are facing two relentless sources of pressure right now. The first is the intense demand to perform — to deliver excellent short-term results despite radical shifts in what customers need and want, where and how people choose to work, and whether supply chains work at all. The second is the urgent need to transform — to reimagine the future of your marketplace and your workplace, given these shifts, and to reinvent your company’s strategy and culture to win that future.” 

Harvard Business Review

Given today’s climate and living in a VUCA world, it can be a daunting task knowing that you need to meet the needs of both performing your role and transforming for the future. So, how do leaders meet this challenge? Is it an impossible task? 

You need to ask yourself these three questions. 

How do you handle the stress and pressure of your current state, but also create space to plan and innovate for the future? 

Think outside the box. What can be changed for you to function more efficiently? Does it look like creating ownership? Forming a project team? Or blocking out time in your diary for forward thinking? Think how you can combine all levels of leadership to come together to ignite new ideas, new ways of working and to transform your own leadership impact. 

How can you encourage people to be energetic and excited about work? 

This is your chance to inspire energy and rekindle that spark of joy so many people can lose when balancing the pressure of work. Read “How to love your job again”. How does one expect to transform and perform when they’re not energised by their role, happy in their job or excited about the future? 

How can you manage your own personal stress? 

Resilience. As a leader, you can’t first support your team with resilience before developing it within yourself. Leading from the front and developing your own individual resilience allows you to better support your team. Resilience is your ability as an individual to recover quickly in the face of adversity. It is your capacity to adapt when certain events have changed the game and then keep going not allowing setbacks to stop your progress.  

Navigating the current leadership environment is tough, no matter what level you’re at – head of a large organisation or managing a small team. Your priority as a leader is to inspire your team, then answer these three questions to work on better performing day-to-day and transforming the future. 

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