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What's Needed Here?

The best leaders are fantastic at asking the question “What’s Needed Here?” It really is a superpower. Gone are the days when business was predictable. The speed of change is wondrous. And we all know that we can no longer do today what we did yesterday, and hope to survive.

This is why the question “What's Needed Here?” is key to all our success. It's a question that needs to be answered in 3 distinct contexts.

First-up, what do I need to do personally to get myself into the right place to do extraordinary work? We aren’t the same people we were at the beginning of lockdown. We have realised there are certain things that we need to make sure energy is fizzing. There are days we need to create space to think deeply on our own where walking out in nature will deliver results. Other times, being with our team is the only way to win. Do we need to move? Breathe deeply? Change tasks? Ask for help? Listen to a tune? Whatever is needed; do it.  When you get your energy right; everything is easy and fun so make it your priority. 

Secondly, what do I need to do to get the energy right in the people I’m working with?  We’re all unique and therefore we all need different approaches to help us truly sing.  Leaders need to be sensitised to that and be flexible in the way they orchestrate an environment that helps everyone flourish in the work they do.

And this needs to be constantly tuned, as your people will be changing second by second, hour by hour and day by day.  

And thirdly, being super clear about what my focus should be, and understanding what it is that I need to do to deliver on it. We need to be deeply aware that different work needs different energy. Anyone who’s tried a creative kick about with their team on zoom knows why we need to create the right type of conditions for whatever type of work we need to deliver. These 3 dimensions need to all be loved and nurtured. 

The question ‘What’s Needed Here?’ will be key to us surfing the new wave of hybrid working as in truth, nobody knows how it’ll work. It’s a massive experiment. One that’s unique to this time in history.  There may be some principles that we think will unlock this way of working, but remember, every business, team and leader will be unique. And their challenges will change daily. We therefore need to be able to step back from the busyness and ask ourselves a more specific question: “What’s needed here, right now?”. We then need to be able to think and work flexibly in order to deliver it.  

We cannot expect our old proficiencies and historic identity to be the saviour of our businesses today. We need to reinvent ourselves and flex in the moment that we find ourselves in right now.   

We need to improve our awareness of ourselves, sensitise ourselves to the people that we’re working with, and all whilst tuning into the business’ needs. When we get them all harmonising; work becomes effortless and exciting. But don’t get too caught up in the sweetness of that moment because tomorrow it will all change, and you’ll have to ask again; “What’s needed here, right now?”.

Image credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya