Here’s our latest publication – An 8 Step Guide to Shape the Future of Work. I hope you find it useful to navigate the post-pandemic future!
How to Lead and Work through the Pandemic
5 Leaders… 5 Questions
I’ve had the privilege to know Dainna Datchko for over 14 years through our shared background in L&D and organizational development.
She is currently the Director of Learning and Development at Algonguin Power/Liberty Utilities. Her knowledge of leadership and her commitment to creating a great workplace shines through in every conversation I have with her. I thought you’d like to benefit from her wisdom.
1. What is a daily ritual you have done to stay focused throughout the pandemic?
Routine, staying very organized (I am a huge list person, and I try to ensure each item starts with an action word). Daily yoga at the end of the day keeps me stress-free. I block “focus” time to think and get projects done. I try my best to find out why I am needed in a meeting before going.
2. What is one NEW leadership skill, practice, or quality you have developed that you would use next time a big challenge comes your way?
Using technology to my advantage when staying in touch with my team and the value of more frequent check-ins that are not work-focused but people-focused. Being vulnerable is key to having employees feel comfortable sharing their feelings and experience.
3. What surprised you most about your ability to lead your business and lead your team through the ambiguity and uncertainty?
My team and I were already using Zoom for a few years as my team is all over North America, so it was not so hard to start using video. I feel my upbringing of moving frequently made me more resilient – I forgot how quickly I adapt to change and was able to help support my team faster.
4. What advice would you give yourself if you had to go through this all over again?
Work with the team upfront to decide how we want to go through this together – let everyone have input early on how we manage the shift. Then, in it together, build a plan to stay connected that everyone believes in.
5. What is one word you hope your team would use to describe your leadership style, and what does that mean to you?
Honest– it means trust to me, being honest and keeping my word, being transparent as much as possible, and of course, vulnerability.
BONUS Question: What’s the last book you’ve read that’s a must-read for people in leadership roles that you think everyone should read?
I would highly recommend Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe’s new book Calm within the Storm: a Pathway to Everyday Resiliency. We had her speak at our recent Leadership Summit, and she has a remarkable way of connecting to people and sharing her story. Her teachings are so practical.
My other favorite book is The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead by Michael Bungay Stanier- Asking questions and staying curious are key skills to help get to know and understand your team.