A Leader in Brexitland
Hard Brexit, soft Brexit? Whether you believe the UK was right or wrong in voting to leave the EU, the reality is here. We have a deadline for the triggering of Article 50. Leaders in the UK and their counterparts in the EU and worldwide with big markets here are watching events unfold.
Most of the clients I’ve spoken within the UK are currently seeing no difference. The UK is still a member of the EU until the process is completed. So how do we, as leaders, deal with a protracted period of change with no certain outcomes?
Leadership in the UK, in my experience, often adheres to the traditional view that leaders have to know what to do, in all eventualities. We expect miracles from ordinary men and women who through hard work, inspiration, luck or a combination of all three, have risen to executive positions. Those who survived the turbulence after the crash of ’07 were probably thinking that they had seen the last seismic event of their careers and they have more than likely learned much about coping with uncertainty. ’07, though, caused financial upset. Brexit will affect most areas of their businesses; income, legal frameworks, staffing, operations, tax; the list goes on. And in many, if not most cases, their teams at all levels are looking to them for guidance.
There is an alternative. Each and every one of us, regardless of our job title, can take the view that we can lead our teams, our companies and our communities during this journey. Leadership works in at least five dimensions – for the organisation as a whole, for ourselves, for our colleagues, for our partners and for the world around us. Throughout the Brexit process, we all have something to offer as a leader. So, bosses, ask your teams for their input and ideas. Explain your challenges. Co-workers, offer to help. Work for the whole, not just for yourself and your function. Regardless of what lies on the other side, we might all learn something on the journey.
If you’d like to talk about your leadership journey during Brexit, please contact me.
Partner at Gaia Leadership
Tomorrow my collegues will talk abot Leadership away from home for Members of the Swedish Chamber of Commerce. Read more about it here.