Tin or Aluminium?

What can they tell us about leadership? What, you may ask, am I talking about? This year is my 10 year wedding anniversary, and I was curious to know what traditionally represents 10 years of marriage. The answer is two metals - tin and aluminium - which represent the durability and flexibility of a loving union.

I find it interesting that these metals represent 10 years in a year when durability and flexibility couldn’t be more relevant. It's true that we've all had to be flexible, adapt, and consider how to be in order to work through, bounce back, and last through and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Durability; the quality of permanence or strength that keeps something working or holds it together. Our personal and work relationships are being tested. The psychological work contract will never be the same again. People are now asking "Do I want to do this? What do I need in order to do my job? What is important to me?".

As leaders and managers in business, you will need to be able to respond to new ways of working and consider what this will look like for your teams and your business as a whole. How will you lead in this agile world? What do you need to do differently? In many organisations, the need for employees to be physically present five days a week in an office environment will now be a thing of the past. Managers and leaders who manage by “command and control” will find this transition less than easy, but in an agile world this type of management style doesn't engage teams or result in productive output. You need to individually adapt to the people you lead, and may have a different psychological contract with each member of your team.

As I write this, I'm wondering if this is actually so different. Didn't great people-managers already do this? They knew each of their teams members and adapted their styles to get the best out of each person, knowing just as much about their star performer as they do about their poorer performers.
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What is perhaps heightened even more at this time is the need for great people managers to create a sense of community. As a leader you need to create a sense of purpose and belonging for each individual in your team, and give clarity on how each individual contributes to the team and the overall company goals. Clarity of objectives with measurable outcomes is important. You can never have enough communication. and we've learned this even more during the past few months. Build and keep an open dialogue with each member of your team. Listen to hear.

Realise that even though the world has changed, for great people managers it hasn’t changed so much;
Aspire to create a durable community; a strong team that lasts, and;
Do it together.

Blog Posts

  • thumb_home-office-4980353_1920.jpg
    I wrote a blog a while back called Agile Working and Mindsets - Does it Really Make Sense to Travel 4 Hours a Day? I couldn’t quite remember when I wrote it so I went back to check; it was in October 2019. Nine months on and the world is in lockdown, and on re-reading my blog I realised that the work I'm doing with a client at the moment, and the questions being asked, were things I raised in this blog. Therefore, I thought it would be good to revisit some of these points and see where people and companies currently are with it all.
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    The psychological work contract will never be the same again. People are now asking "Do I want to do this? What do I need in order to do my job? What is important to me?".

  • thumb_star-wars-1724901_1920.jpg
    The disruptions to our daily routines, uncertainty about finances, concerns about becoming infected or losing loved ones, and isolation are creating unprecedented levels of stress. No one is going to be at his or her best under these circumstances; the COVID-19 pandemic has created a perfect storm for our dark sides to emerge...
  • thumb_goodness-440313_1920.jpg
    I've always been interested in peoples’ values and what motivates them.  At this moment in time, employee motivation has been thrust into the spotlight more than ever.
  • thumb_sunrise-1756274_1920.jpg
    The future world of work has changed. This change has been aggressive and due to a virus, and not (as has been talked about for years) as a result of AI. How we feel about the way we work and how we interact with organisations has radically changed, forever.