Uncertainty is a constant. To navigate this, leaders of the future are caring and vulnerable, they understand the value of this.
Stephen Moir: So here we are again, Sean, we had another excellent session uh yesterday, the second in our series around caring and it’s linked to leadership. This time we talked about ‘Are you responsible for designing a system that cares?’ And we broke that down into three sections. And firstly, systemic caring and that process. Do you want to just chat a bit about that?
Sean Spence: Yeah. One of one of the things I work through with clients is that once you’re once you’re running an organization, you’re not just responsible for being in a system and working it well. You’re responsible for the design of it. What’s been emerging after covert is that caring makes a real difference. But it’s not enough just to have a warm-hearted feeling towards people. Um if it’s not reflected in the way the whole system feels to people who encounter it, then you’re going to be in trouble.
Stephen Moir: Yeah and if then it sort of led onto the second area, which is around if the system’s not caring, that was quite a good conversation, wasn’t it?
Sean Spence: Yeah. You know people reacted well to that because we’ve all experienced systems where we’ve had to provide our details four times, or it just feels like they don’t care. We’re made to wait on the phone too long, you know and so it actually destroys value. But also within teams and within the organization itself, if it’s not caring, it actually causes people to leave. It’s actually genuinely expensive. So this notion of having to find metrics for caring um is really important, but you can quite easily find a metric for what happens when you don’t care.
Stephen Moir: Yeah it’s very expensive. Yeah. And then the third section we talked about was around reputation.
Sean Spence: Yeah, well, reputation is one of the key assets of an organization. It’s what makes doing business easier, but it’s also an asset of the CEO and the executive team. And a reputation for not caring will not go well in the future. There are several comments to the effect that we’re seeing a gap develop between leaders who feel like they’re the leaders who are able to be vulnerable, who genuinely care, who understand the impact of caring and the value of caring, the gap between those and those who don’t get the message is the gap between the leaders of the future and the leaders of the past.
Stephen Moir: Yeah that was my takeaway from it all. I feel like really this is quite a moment of change, for leadership, I think, and uh around these areas. Would you agree?
Sean Spence: Especially you know the uncertainty feels like it’s going to be a constant rather than a sudden, one-off shock, and um you know we need people who are able to handle the emotional anxiety
and the waves that are going to pass over us over the next few years.
Stephen Moir: Yeah, absolutely. Well another great session, so thanks again.
Sean Spence: Enjoyed it. Thanks a lot, Steve
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