ubuntu | i am because we are
The One Word to Change How You Work, Live and Lead | Shola Richards
What if our global mindset was refocused on the transcendent concept of Ubuntu — the African philosophy that represents the power of human connectedness, kindness, and compassion? In this vulnerable and thought-provoking talk, Shola Richards addresses that important question, while showing how Ubuntu can be used to transform how we work, live, and lead. Some people call me a cheerleader (admittedly, I'm a natural at enthusiasm), but I'm actually a champion of those who value integrity. Because really, what's more important than the principles we exude.. and thus, the principles we spread?
There are a seemingly infinite number of books out there that have been written on leadership. None of them have a story to tell on how to lead currently, in these unprecedented times.
Every team is built on two key foundational pillars – purpose and rituals. Purpose defines why we do what we do as a team. While rituals are the binding glue that keeps a team together during good and bad times.
3 aspects that have helped me lead in these times:
1. Empathy – It is always important to lead with empathy, now more than ever. A lot is going on in people’s lives, and a lot has changed in their lives. Check-in with your teams more often as the situation is very dynamic and is altered constantly. Now is a great time to increase the frequency of your team’s engagement pulses to gauge when and where support may be needed.
2. Empower – Individual contributors loathe when they must wait for decisions and approvals. Empower teams to do what is right for themselves and for the business. Trust is a valued element that enables our teams to move quickly and be experts in their specified fields.
3. Extreme Focus – This is a great time to get rid of the bad habits or distractions that every team develops over time. We can re-define our team rituals to discard any bad habits and create new rituals that will help us to bond, re-evaluate what our work/life balance may look like now, and support each other as we move through these times.
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The future depends on what you do today.”
While no one can predict with certainty what the world will look like in the coming months and years, let us focus on what we can do today – for our teams, customers, and the communities that we live in.