GIODN Official Blog
Leading in Disruptive Times Andre Boykin
- June 23, 2020
- Posted by: Dr. Cindy Banyai
- Category: Thoughts
GIODN was proud to welcome Andre Boykin, revered OD professional and speaker for a special speaking event on June 16, 2020. In his presentation, Boykin covers the five dimensions needed to lead effectively amid disruption. These dimensions include mindset, focus, being people-centered, results and communication. Boykin provides detail and explanation for each dimension. To kick off the presentation, the first poll asked what about the biggest leadership challenge most people faced. Based on the poll, the challenge most participants faced was maintaining focus. The second largest challenge was getting desired results, then communication, and lastly being people centered. Disruptive times reveal and expose leadership effectiveness. Boykin shared the quote, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain,” by William Shakespeare.
Andre Boykin discusses the V.U.C.A World. This is an acronym for the issues and change around us. The V stands for volatility, the dynamics of the change that we are experiencing. The U stands for lack of predictability in life circumstances. The C stands for the confounding or complexity of issues we’re facing and lastly, A stands for ambiguity. Ambiguity is the haziness of the reality of a situation. Boykin states that haziness can lead to making wrong decisions because a situation could have been misread.
What is mindset? A person’s mindset is their habitual ways of thinking that have been created over time. Mindset causes the actions a person has on a day-to-day basis. This is the most critical piece in terms of what is exhibited on the outside. Our identity consists of the Stages of Evolution of Consciousness (5 stages). In his presentation, Boykin discusses Stages 2-5. These stages include imperial mind, socialized mind, self-authorizing mind and self-transforming mind.
The imperial mind is from age six years to adolescence. In this stage, people view others as means to meet their own needs. There is an emphasis on one’s own needs, interests and agendas. A leader stuck in the imperial mind won’t get good results from others.
Next is the socialized mind where most adults are. The most important thing to those with this mindset is the ideas, norms, beliefs of the people around them. External sources shape the sense of self and understanding of the world. Most often leaders in this stage will make statements like, “I don’t want to hurt others’ feelings” or “I am concerned about what others are thinking of me.”
The Self – Authorizing Mind can distinguish the opinions of others from their own opinions in formulating opinions. This mindset is consumed with “who I am, what I stand for, this is the kind of person I am.” Leaders in this stage have an internal sense of direction and the capacity to create or follow their own course.
Finally, the Self-Transforming mind is the stage that only 1% of adults reach. In this mindset, one’s sense of self is not tied to particular identities or roles. A leader in this mindset is both self-authorizing and willing to work with the authority of others. For example, in one situation a leader can have a viewpoint or opinion and have a complete opposite opinion in another situation. The leader in this mindset is no longer a prisoner of their own identity.
So, what mindset is needed now to be a successful leader? There are two types of leadership styles: creative and reactive. When someone reacts normally without thinking, it is usually out of some type of fear. This default mode comes from a small part of our brain that is primal and needed for survival. It is important to move from the primal part of the brain to the decision-making part to create from there. The primal states (reactive) include stress, anxiety, overwhelm, disappointment, boredom, anger, impatience, jealousy, worry, sadness and rage. The powerful states (creative) include hope, gratitude, joy, compassion, peace, curiosity, courageousness, confidence, excitement, optimism and celebration. Being able to distinguish when you’re being creative or reactive is a critical skill to adjusting your leaderships styles.
The next dimension needed to lead effectively during disruptive times is focus. The three most important things to focus on are trust, purpose and values/core beliefs. Trust allows for everyone in a group to be self-expressed. When there is a purpose, everyone wants to a part of something larger than themselves. A good example of purpose is players on sports teams. The same is true in an organization that stands beyond the set of activities that are required to achieving the desired result. People will lose themselves inside a purpose so they can see beyond just their small world and look at a larger perspective. Values and core beliefs guide the direction in terms of operating on daily basis. Boykin uses the example of Tylenol. When there was an outbreak of deaths in the Chicago area from an outside contamination of Tylenol bottles, the company recalled not only the areas products but bottles all around the US. Tylenol ended up losing the lead in the industry and a lot of money, however, in an interview stated that it was their values to provide safe products to their consumers. Cores and beliefs help guide decision making and make it easier no matter the outcome.
Boykin emphasizes the importance of focusing on the job to be done, not the crisis. An activity falls into two out of four categories. The four categories include urgent, not urgent, important and not important. Activities that fall in the not urgent/not important category are things like trivia, tv and some calls. Items that fall in the not important/urgent category include interruptions, distractions, some email and many routine acts. Preparation, planning prevention and personal development fall in the important/not urgent category. This is where leaders should be spending their time. Boykin states that a leader’s role is to be the calm during a storm and focus on results. The final category is important/urgent issues like pressing issues, emergency deadlines, emergency meetings and crisis.
Being People Centered
Boykin discusses that people are looking for certainty in a leader. It is not about the leader himself, but the other person or people looking up to that leader because people are fearful. Empathy is being able to look at a situation through someone else’s eyes and it is critical to have empathy as a leader. People want to look at their leadership and know that no matter how an uncertain situation plays out, their leader will lead them through it. As a leader, there is either authority or power. If a leader wants power with their people, he must take responsibility for whatever happens. Power is earned but authority is granted, and power is what a leader should strive for, not just authority.
Communication is the what and the how. A leader must communicate for clarity and connection, be clear about standards and care about people. Communication creates a sense of elevated transparency and elevated gratitude as well as being the glue of a company. A successful leader will acknowledge people for what they are doing and contributing.
All of this occurs in the Winning Postures Mindset of Achievement. First, there must be direction. The leader should establish direction in goals/objectives, culture and values. A leader should also gain commitment from others to go in the direction that has been established, this process is called buy-In. The leader must develop by coaching, mentoring and developing team members so they can fulfill their commitment. At last, the leader should keep the focus on results. The leader gets results from other people and their success if ultimately because team members are successful.
We were so fortunate to have Andre Boykin join us for this session. If you would like to connect with him further, you can reach him at https://andreboykin.com/. You can watch his special speaking event for GIODN here.