In this episode of our New Ways: Leading in a Changed World Series, Pexip chatted with Brian Ferreira, vice president managing executive partner at Gartner. Brian is a global expert in business and technology trends and executive leadership.
While leaders have a recovery orientation or position on how they are going to get their businesses to adapt or survive, they also have a personal view on how they feel about that recovery and the position they are taking.
“You know, in probably the last three or four months, there have been clients that I've spoken to who struggle with their value systems because the way they're trying to orientate and help their people through it from a business point of view, fundamentally clashes with them… One gentleman said to me, 'it feels like I'm telling a whole lot of white lies and I'm struggling with it.'
How to bring that different perspective across while feeling authentic, is really tough for some people in that space. It must make it really difficult when you're feeling like you're telling a bunch of little white lies to people. Why does that leader ... feel they have to do that?"
One reason Ferreira offers for why leaders take this approach is that they have to consider the survival of the business and if they are really truthful around business conditions and outlook, they are likely to paint a very grim picture. By presenting a different professional stance, they are trying to get people to look beyond that.
“I think where leaders are going wrong is … be transparent but then give a vision. I think, sometimes leaders don't have that vision. For instance, if you look at the airline industry, we don't know when we're going to be up and running. Trying to try to firm a conversation up around that is quite tough. So, people tend to try bold little stories or ways of surviving until they've got facts.”
Previously, leaders had quite a lot of access to tools and reporting and data in their normal life but the way they used to validate their decisions or give assurances to board or employees is no longer available. They may have a high influx of new information in the current environment and with so much change, they are trying to find the right reports or make sense of new information.
“So sometimes people just struggle ... they want to be transparent but they don't have the tools or things around them to build that transparency,” Ferreira adds. “And then can’t just say, ‘I don't know.’”
This episode was filmed with interviewer Ben Campbell in Adelaide, and Brian Ferreira in Sydney, Australia – using Pexip video to bring everyone together.