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Let’s talk about leading the recovery…

Leaders Kitbag, October 2020 edition

In this months compilation of content for you, our reader who is a leader, we are focusing on recovery. 

THE RECOVERY, it could be said. 

How we will emerge from our current state, in whichever State we’re in, and into the Post-Pandemic world and begin to make things better. Better than they are now we all hope, and better for us all in the long term we should insure as well.

Every where I’ve turned over the past month, authors, observers, participants and leaders seem to have sharply turned from the immediacy of ‘how do we do this?’ to ‘how do we build this to make it better?’, whether that’s their team, their organisation or their country.

Therefore, the range of content we’ve recommended, both 4i created and curated, is all focused around how this recovery could occur, what the role of leaders will need to be, and how you can play a part.

We maintain our sectional focus as normal, first Imagining what is possible, then looking at how we Ignite our potential and the potential of those we lead, then Immersing ourselves in the ways and means to make progress before we look finally at Inspiring examples to aspire to and provide motivation. As we’ve done in the last 2 months, we also pose a few questions for consideration and discussion at home or at work.

As always, I look forward to your comments, thoughts, reflections or provocations in response to any of the articles, podcasts and visual offerings recommended.

Until next month, 

Be well, lead well, and keep on building a better world,


Imagine a better world built by better leadership (including yours).

This content is visionary, strategic or futuristic in nature, looking at the road ahead for leadership.

Imagining pathways forward through and out of recession, taking lessons of ’emergent resilient’s’ from previous recessions, this thoughtful and thought-provoking review by McKinsey is well worth several READs, at around 8mins (click here)

Leveraging purpose to imagine the impact you can have in your life and the world, a moving conversation on the Rich Roll podcast with high-performance psychologist Michael Gervais, click here for Apple podcast (2hr listen, skip to around 1hr in for the most applicable section on leadership)

For any of you that haven’t seen David Attenborough’s latest stirring call to action, click here. For something more textual, with extensive supportive research and contributions from leaders all over the world, take a look here at the Climate Reality Check report, including recommended actions. This is a downloadable resource or presentation, feel free to share within your community.

Much is being made of the need for the recovery to not only be about getting back to where we were, but about moving forward towards where we need to be, particularly from a climate change perspective. This pair of articles both speak to the kind of far sighted and far reaching change we need on both fronts;

– From The Conversation, 4 reasons we need to focus on restoring nature (5mins READ)

– From Physorg, How we can put nature at the heart of our economy, and the benefits of doing so… (6mins READ)

Ignite your potential to lead to your utmost ability.

This content is intended to be pragmatic, actionable and applicable to your leadership today.

With all the necessary talk about restoring natural systems being vital to our recovery and future success, how about including a natural systems approach to leadership? As an introduction, check out our conversation with Natural Intelligence researcher Leen Gorissen on Better World Leaders, click here for the episode page including Spotify & YouTube links (90min WATCH or LISTEN). If you like what you here, I also highly recommend Leen’s book here

Leading right now is tough. Working right now is tough too, with the constant change and adaption required just to keep up. With all of this stress and pressure, burnout is a real threat. This article from HBR click here(7min READ) places empathetic leadership at the heart of supporting leaders and team members alike through these testing times – and all the challenges ahead.

One of the critical decisions facing leaders now, and most likely for the foreseeable future, is how to continue to invest in the people who drive the performance of your organisation, with ever reducing resources available to do so. I attempt to provide some suggestions on how to approach this in a Time with Tim series focused on 4 areas (click here for overview WATCH 3 or 10mins)yourself as a leaderkey individuals in your teamyour whole team or organisation and stakeholders. Click on any of those terms that are of interest to you for a <3min Time with Tim topic introduction and a <10min in depth exploration.

Speaking of adaptability, or more specifically Adaptive Leadership, if you’re feeling like you’d benefit from improving your capability in shifting with the times and evolving demands, here’s two suggestions;

– HBR article (9mins READ) as a primer on the key principles of Adaptive Leadership – click here

– Our Better World Leaders conversation with Adaptive Leadership expert Brandon Srot – click here for the episode page with Spotify & YouTube links (60min WATCH or LISTEN)

Immerse yourself in our deep exploration of a focal leadership topic.

Month by month, we at 4i are examine key areas that enhance leadership’s impact and contribution. This month, leading into post-Pandemic recovery.

An extensive review from McKinsey (35min READ, click here) of the many facets of leading through the Pandemic, and how to best position yourself for success as we emerge into the ‘new normal’.

It looks like hybrid teams are here to say, at least that seems to be the consensus. That makes me feel like I’m on trend for once in my life, as we’ve been operating that model at 4i for 4 years now! However, hybrid teams en-mass, organisation wide, is a real change for many organisations that is unlikely to go away any time soon, if ever. Here’s some advice from HBR (10min READ – click here) on how to best lead a team that’s operating partially in the same space, and partially in the virtual environment.

With the likely continuation of fully virtual or hybrid teams, is an increased need to consider cross-cultural aspects of collaboration. The more geographically distanced the team, the more probably they are to have contrasting cultural references. This article (6mins READ click here) from Atlassian gives a helpful framework for leading cross-cultural teams.

Seawater greenhouses, renewables fuelled trans-Atlantic flights – the list of opportunities to do better things in the wake of a ‘CoVid-reset’ is extensive, as discussed in this episode of the ABC’s FutureTense (29min LISTEN – click here)

One of the sectors typically criticised for being too slow to innovate and unable to foster growth in high-cost countries like Australia is manufacturing. This review by McKinsey (12min READ – click here)sets out a pathway for makers of things to lead a resurgent sector as the world re-assesses complex global supply chains in the wake of the Pandemic’s impact on the structures we’ve all become complacent of and reliant on.

Inspire yourself or others who you may share this with.  

Examples of great leadership, in particular what I call ‘Better World Leadership’ from the world at large.

There’s been an emerging trend of senior leaders or listed companies talking about purpose, and how prominent it has become in their business. Here’s an example from the CEO of IAG, interviewed by McKinsey (8min READ – click here)

In terms of inspirational stories of exactly the kind of leadership I believe we need right now, I’m proud to say there’s been an abundance of these in the second season of the 4i podcast, Better World Leaders. Here’s a recommended few each with a link to the episode page with links to YouTube or Spotify

– Harvee Pene, Accountants that transform lives by showing purpose powers profit (53min LISTEN or WATCH – click here)

– Kevin Tan, Director of Clean as you go, proving that productivity, impact and critically profit all follow purpose (65min LISTEN or WATCH – click here)

– And from the 4i team, our conversation with our EVP USA, Dr Tom Alan-Livernois on lessons of humility & tolerance, as well as his research on leading virtual teams (70mins LISTEN or WATCH – click here)

And last but far from least, a provocative article from Brene Brown on the need to stick firm and stay true to purpose during these turbulent times (7min READ – click here)

Discussion Questions – Something to consider or discuss (questions for you, your team or your leader)

– What goal can you agree that will be achieved by Christmas, that will set you up for success in 2021?

– What are you grateful for?

– What has 2020 taught you?