Are you wearing shoes? While women have seen some big movement recently in breaking the glass ceiling, there are still barriers to career advancement, including the glass cliff. All leaders, regardless of gender, need to be aware of the barriers that prevent more women – particularly women of color – from effectively growing their careers. We already know that diverse teams, including teams with a mix of genders and races, outperform other less diverse teams and businesses (see leanin.org, catalyst.org, and studies by Stanford and the Women at Work initiative).
Envisioning the Way
At Capacity Group, we’re partnering with executives as they take steps in leading their organizations into stage two of the response to Covid-19: the re-envisioning phase. In my recent blog, Disruption = Go, I shared the idea that now is the time to both accelerate change in your organization and start additional changes given the disruption and adaption everyone has recently survived. Now we’re stabilizing a bit in this altered environment and there are important actions leaders must take to move forward with your business and clients to create the future for your organization and associates.
Moving out of crisis and into envisioning requires shifting how you spend your time as top leaders. It also involves purposeful action to engage people in thinking about, ideating and envisioning new ways of operating focused around key priorities.
In the last few years, many businesses and leaders I know were actively contemplating how to disrupt their business models. Their aim? To find new ways of operating in order to succeed in a volatile and complex environment. This work is both necessary and arduous for leaders and their top teams. Disrupting an organization from its stasis is challenging and typically means the leaders themselves have to evolve. At Capacity Group, this is the work we do with our clients, and today’s environment represents a unique opportunity for leaders who want to evolve their organizations.
Leaders are faced with demands from multiple angles as they care for, rally and enable their teams in this new environment during COVID-19. As leaders, it’s about flexing so you can meet the realities of today’s crisis by focusing on operational needs, sensing the compassion and empathy needed to meet people where they are, and finding hope through possibility and opportunity.
I’m amazed at the sheer resilience, care, and optimism of the leaders with whom I’m working. Together with their firms, these individuals are stepping up to make the world healthier, providing compassion by showing up with humanity first and continuing to serve their clients in their greatest hour of need. Organizations such as Maryland Food Bank, which is still doing the work of feeding the hungry, is finding ways to mobilize volunteers side by side with their employees.
I’ve spent 90% of my career working with, developing, and supporting leaders as they ascend positions, take on greater responsibilities, and become more impactful in their roles. In recent years, it’s become increasingly important to me to see leaders awaken to their responsibilities to others and act with a sense of what’s right. Many leaders have a lot of power, and with that comes a responsibility to create a more just world.
Leaders need to be in good condition in order to lead and help their teams feel supported in their work. Practicing and modeling self-care, as well as encouraging your teams to take care of themselves, are positive steps towards ensuring that you’re all in the best possible shape at work.
Because wellness connects to how leaders can be at their best, I’d like to introduce my friend and colleague, Stacy Fritz, as our guest blogger (note: see a picture of us from our fun trip to NY in December at the end, Stacy is the deer to the right). Stacy and I have known each other since high school. While we took different paths for a good part of our lives, we reconnected and found some synergy in the work we’re currently doing. Stacy leads FIT2Order, a company focused on the health, fitness, and wellness of our workforce – with an emphasis on addressing the needs and hazards of sedentary work. My brainchild, Capacity Group, seeks to facilitate the performance and growth of leaders and their teams.
Despite our differences, there’s a connection here! Namely – when we’re fit, healthy and well, we’re more likely to be engaged at work. “Engaged employees don’t just ‘do their jobs,’ but use their talents, drive innovation within the company, and help to build.” This is a point my colleague, Marcella Bayer and I made in our recent, three-part blog series on employee engagement.
Is your interest piqued? If so, please read on for some great suggestions from Stacy to create more wellness at work and see if you feel more engaged!