Last week, agency owners from around the globe, all members of the Public Relations Global Network, participated in our bi-annual conference. Had it not been for COVID, we would have been in Singapore. But instead, we logged in from the comfort of own homes and were treated to a lively and informative discussion on leadership from Ken Jacobs of Jacobs Consulting and Executive Coaching.
These last several months have put our leadership capabilities to the test. Keeping our business afloat and making sure we are supporting our teams is difficult even at the best of times. Add in a pandemic, working from home and the uncertainties that go along with it, and we can find ourselves in a leadership crisis.
According to Ken, “energy is reciprocal. Put out positive energy and your teams will respond.” Agree, but how do you keep your energy level high? Leaders need to take care of themselves before they can take care of others. So, what are you doing to take care of yourself? For me that means extra long walks with Hildy, staying connected to family and friends through phone calls, texts and video chats, and doing some home improvement projects (hello new countertops!).
It is important to be as transparent as possible and as much as makes sense for your business. The more leaders engage, the more likely your team will follow. "Are you willing to go with me on my vision?" Ken posits that a question like that gets more buy-in then simply telling your team “the facts, nothing but the facts.” Using phrases like “I think,” “I believe” and “I need your support” show the team that you are seeking their input.
A few other tidbits from his presentation:
On a side note: I also had the opportunity recently to participate in an exclusive virtual session with President George W. Bush, that was hosted by our HR consultant company. He was interviewed by his daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, on the topic of leadership and resiliency. Note-taking was prohibited during the session, but one thing that resonated with me that aligned with Ken’s presentation. President Bush said that leaders must be optimistic and gather facts that support that optimism. We are stronger than we think, lean into that strength.
Thank you, Ken, and thank you Mr. President.