School Business Affairs June 2020

42 JUNE 2020 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS Develop your leadership EDGE to navigate challenging times. leadership Maintaining a Leadership EDGE in Turbulent Times By Jill J. Johnson W hy is it that some people seem to weather any busi- ness storm or crisis without appearing to break into a sweat? How is it that they always seem able to recover from a stumble and move on to even greater success? Are they immune to failure because they have won the Suc- cess Lottery? No. Those who achieve success during turbulent times do so because they have an EDGE to their approach to leadership: They understand the value of external informa- tion. They establish a framework for their decision-making. They develop goals to provide a focus for accountability. They also take advantage of outside experts to provide them with additional insight. E xternal Information Is Essential Leaders who have an EDGE in achieving success no matter the situation understand the value of using external information. They know it is vital to understanding what is going on with the target markets they serve, especially when they are in a distressed situation. These leaders continu- ally reassess their assumptions about their circumstances and they look for deeper insights to help them understand the com- plexity of the distressing situation. EDGE leaders focus their time and energy on asking the hard questions that help them go deeper into understanding the alternatives available for resolving their situation. They do not hide in their office with the door closed when they are working through a challeng- ing situation. They get out of their day-to-day bubble and look outward to gain new ideas. EDGE leaders leverage abundant external information to provide them with insights to use for reviewing their own situation. This external information is often the catalyst for a new beginning. They adapt and take advantage of evolving circumstances and emerging opportunities to provide a founda- tion for even greater future success. D ecisions Use a Framework of Critical Criteria Leaders who have an EDGE always develop a solid framework for making critical deci- sions. They understand that this framework will help them manage their emotions as they deal with the anxiety and pressure brought on by a business crisis. A solid decision framework provides focus for the criteria that they will use to evaluate their options. They also use their decision frame- work to consider the implications of each choice available to them. Leaders with an EDGE use the questions they asked during the information gathering phase to ensure they consider a wide range of alternative solutions. Yet they drive their decision-making by using their decision criteria to help them establish a framework for their priorities. They are attentive to the nuances each option provides. They prioritize the value of each element of their decision criteria. They use their decision framework to determine what they need to do to reclaim their success as they sort through their various decision options. Knowing the boundaries for their deci- sion-making gives them a more objective sense of how to evaluate their options. It moves them to a more detached and impar- tial view as they go through their evalua- tion process. These leaders do not avoid making deci- sions. They use decision criterial to control their emotions and stay focused on the most critical decisions that need to be made. They consider the consequences of implementing each option and are laser-focused on the ele- ments that matter the most to resolving the critical issues. KENISHIROTIE/STOCK.ADOBE.COM