Leadership has so many meanings, definitions and distinctions. In business it is one of the most key words in use. The word that can be classified as nouveau however, is the word disruption, which also has multiple definitions. In basic terms disruption is defined as “disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process.”
In today’s conversation I want us to look at the most basic of all disruptions – the one that can change you, your life, work or business in a heartbeat. Indeed our spaces are evolving with new ideas and innovations. Inasmuch as these innovations are solution-oriented they can disrupt the market by destabilizing even the strongest standing businesses. What can be done in the position of leadership when your space is disrupted? How do you find the source of the disruption as it may be an internal or external force? What strong points and attitudes can you fall back on in the face of adversity? One of the key questions to ask is does any kind of disruption really creep up on us? Or could we have been positioned with a cushion. The answer seems to be both. It can creep up on us, it can hit us in the face but there is always a way we could have been partly cushioned to absorb the shocks. President Kennedy wrote: “Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are sure to miss the future.” Some people just cannot accept change. Others thrive on it. Every business no matter the size and field must evolve with the fast-changing times. Whether it is the expansion of a new system, development of new technology, enlargement of a physical workplace design, amendment to a working approach, restructuring etc, all change creates an impact.
Careful and effective management can be the first step to a more enlightened future but mismanagement may lead to the rise of more challenges. Our ability to thrive on the disruption depends on a number of things such as, the spaces in which we find ourselves, our positions in the spaces, our turnaround timing, our creative dispensation, our network of varied relationships, our own personalities, our perception, our mindset amongst many other dependencies. Disruption in certain spaces happens once every decade and others happen as often as every 3 months. Such pressure could either make us coil in or motivate us to be ingenious. A positive or a negative outlook on any disruption comes from the personality under attack. The sort of person you are determines the final picture you paint when you are hit with disruption. Every sort of disruption comes along with its consequences.
There are three main types of disruption: one that is solely self-started, one that is caused by a group dynamics and one that is external which you have no hand in instigating. We are responsible for our attitudes and our actions in all three situations. It is however easier to handle a self-disruption and an internal one rather than one evolving from external forces.
So how do we approach disruption? How do we act? How do we accelerate? There are many ways to achieve leadership through disruption. Every single day evolution happens, disruption happens, innovation also happens. We can apply the 3A’s (our approach, actions and acceleration) with the hard skills of management and/or the soft skills of leadership. Here are four ways we could power our soft skills to lead the little things that can make a big difference in our spaces:
The Power of “Present”: Being present requires us to utilize every inherent and acquired intelligence quotient we have whether body, emotional, social, moral, etc to show up in every function and operation. Being present allows us to integrate facts with gut feelings, intuitively and intelligently prepare for situations and generate the needed dialogue end responses to potential disruption in our spaces. It is one of the best ways to be nimble and be ahead of the game.
The Power of “People”: Our various spaces have evolved from brick and mortar to borderless or virtual but one key constant is the human touch. It has now become critical for us to get to the ‘heart of things’. People want things to stay exactly as they were. As leaders, helping our people to confront the inevitability of change, failure and disruption with confidence and enthusiasm is critical. As leaders we need to be in constant connection with our people intelligence to enable us leverage each and everyone’s learnings for collaborative growth. People are the pillars we lean on, they are the voices that speak on our behalf, they are the thoughts that challenge us and they are the strength of our network. People are the breath of our brand. In all we do we must LOVE our people.
The Power of “Positioning”: Whenever we hear the word positioning our mind drives us all the way to Geography. We focus on location on maps and all the physical spaces. However, within the soft skills of leadership, our maps are mental, our spaces are emotional and our connection to our positioning is engaging, understanding, and driving. We must have the capacity as leaders to absorb the shocks of failure and triggers of destabilization and create various levels of cushioning before transferring the heat through our team structure. As leaders our position should be to RESPOND when everything requires that we react. Our positioning should be decisive when it requires that we sway. Our positioning can be the biggest game changer. We must remember when any kind of disruption happens that the personality of the leader comes under the microscope. The question to ask is, “What kind of leader will we be?”
The Power of our “Pace”: Time has been identified as the only tool in this world that cannot be replaced or recovered. In the process of difficulty however, the pace of our time is what is measured and monitored. Are we in the past, present or future? Are we ahead or within the disruption? Will we make it in time or will it fly past us? Our pace during each power period, present, loving people, or determining our positioning will be the determining factor of our success over disruption. As leaders all our soft skills become tested over time. We cannot wait to pick up the pace. We must gear every skill within us, practice them daily, and live them with consistency. By the time a creeping creature shows up we would have been there all along.
Remember that some disruptions come as quickly as they go and should not pressurize or push us. They are like small waves which have no major effect at all. Let us look out for the challenges infused with layers and layers of disruption beneath them. Being present, loving people, determining our positioning and preempting our pace will give us the lead, through times of disruption.
Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Certified High Performance Coach, Global Speaker, Media Personality and award-winning Entrepreneur.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; the mother company that holds Dzigbordi Inc. & Allure Spa in The City. These brands provide services in Personal Impact & Development, Corporate Consulting, Wellness & Grooming.
Her coaching, seminars and training has helped many organizations and individuals to transform their image and impact, elevate their engagement and establish networks leading to improved and inspired teams, growth and productivity.
Her area of focus is Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power (H.E.L.P).