Leadership in the storm of reorganisation!

Recently we were asked to give some helpful tips to some leaders who found both themselves and their teams in the middle of a major reorganisation with little certainty of what the future holds.  In these times of great stress and uncertainty just how do you keep yourself and your team motivated and focused on the job which still needs to be done?

We put together these 12 tips and they have suggested to us that we share with a wider audience as they found them so useful.  In doing so, can I just say, from several personal experiences, that this is never easy and I do not wish to imply that it is or will be!

I think the way I see it is that there are things you have to do for YOURSELF and then some you have to do as LEADER of your teams, and I outline these thoughts below:-


  • Remember that E + R = O

    • Event + Response = Outcome

    • In other words, you cannot control the events as they unfold but you can control your reaction and that will influence/create the outcome

    • Be aware of OLD PARADIGM/Drama Triangle behaviours and thoughts in your own mind and challenge yourself away from these

  • Make NO assumptions

    • In these situations it’s all too easy to make assumptions that things are being done for a certain reason and/or decisions are already made.  In my experience (of being on the other side) this is very rarely the case!

    • When we make assumptions we often look to find people who share those same assumptions and so in our own mind we can reassure ourselves that we’re obviously right (as others believe it too!).  This is rubbish and only takes us into OLD PARADIGM thinking…and where does that lead?

  • Look for the opportunity

    • There is a (true) saying which is “one door has to close for another to open”….  Change inevitably will create opportunities to either

      • Get a new and different position within the companyor

      • To leave and find new challenges elsewhere

    • in time, try to embrace this opportunity…and the best way to do this is to take time by yourself to really consider what makes you happy, what energises you and what you would really like from your next role

      • a good way to do this is a life-wheel…if you are interested let me know and I’ll send you instructions separately

  • Let the process unfold

    • There is a process and you cannot control it, just try to relax and let it take its course

  • Be authentic

    • Stay true to yourself and your own values

    • Take time to consider your ESSENCE for you a. during this time and b. in the longer term

      • Remember ESSENCE is the WHY, it’s your higher intent….it’s above and beyond a list of goals and achievements you set yourself, it’s your reason for being which energises you

      • At stressful times we get driven into detail, actions and content and things become very unclear and confusing

  • They are watching you!

    • Recognise that those in higher authority are watching you all now more than ever…it’s often how people react at times like this that define both them and their next role (in or out of the organisation!)

    • What do you want to be known for?

    • What would you like them to be saying about you in 3 months time?

    • How can you make this happen?

  • Be careful of the stories you tell yourself

    • It’s at times like these I hear people say things like “I will be angry” “I will get depressed” “I always fail at…”   we really do create our own reality and if we continually tell ourselves this then it will happen

    • Watch what you say to yourself (and others) and be careful what you wish for!


As a Leader there are several things you need to consider to show respect, support and ultimately good leadership for your reports

  • Don’t force people to be happy!

    • Everyone is going to go through a change curve (as you will) and everyone will do it at different rates…this is fine (hopefully by following the above you will get through quickly and be in ahead…as any leader should)

    • If you attempt to force or encourage people to be motivated it can have the opposite effect

  • Listen

  • Don’t fix it!

    • Don’t try to fix the issues or problems for people…..don’t rescue

    • More often than not they just want catharsis, to get it off their chest…let them

  • Ask 3rd party questions

    • If you want to find out what’s going on in your team members minds then best to ask them “How are people feeling?” rather than “how are you feeling?” and “How do others think about all of these changes?” rather than “What do YOU think about all these changes?”  This makes it safe for people to be open about what’s going on in their head without having to OWN it…which can be perceived as dangerous in these circumstances

  • How do I want to be lead?

    • Take time to consider how you would like to be lead at this time?  Consider this both for people at the same site as you and others who work in other offices and other countries…how can you best connect?

      • What would YOU like to see from YOUR boss?

      • What would YOU like to hear?

      • How would YOU like to feel?

    • Ask yourself how you can do this for your team?

Times like this require true leadership and I am a great believer that leaders are appointed by their followers not their bosses!  Their actions in stressful times is always what make true leaders.

Finally, if you want an easy way to think about some of these then just remember i-LEAD™

  • L = listen – make time to listen to them..ask them 3rd party questions

  • E = energy management – understand and manage yours and understand where theirs is

  • A = authenticity – be true to yourself…what do you want?

  • D = Direction – as the process unfolds get your ESSENCE (intent) clear for YOURSELF and for YOUR TEAM…this will make your CONTENT/action decisions very easy

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