You coach leaders in financial services to be their best. What does it take to be a great leader today?
Jason Leadership nowadays is so much more a way of being than a way of doing. There are a few marks of great leadership, empathy is one of them. Screaming and shouting don't work. Siding with or almost physically standing hip to hip or shoulder to shoulder with someone is far more effective than the way that they used to do it years ago. Empowering the other leaders or up-and-coming leaders of an organisation is incredibly powerful. Creating a culture that begins with leadership at the top and cascades down to the respective levels, so much so that the company or the business could create subcultures within it. All of these things contribute to great leadership, and not all of these things were points of conversation even two decades ago.
What’s the main challenge people come to you for help with?
Jason They want to create more time. They say that they don't have any time and they want more of it. I always turn it around and talk about the creation of time. It's not about finding time because we all have 24 hours a day. It's about creating time and that's about improving your relationship with time - also with tasks but there's a lot more to that. Creating capacity in terms of time is one of the biggest opportunities you can do for yourself. But it's very hard for people because they often weigh time up against everything else.
What’s your advice to help leaders cope with constant change and demands?
Jason There’s this thing called ‘grit’ and it’s defined as courage, perseverance, adaptability and resilience. It’s what helps people navigate the challenges they have. Resilience is about dealing with the emotional experience of whatever’s thrown at you. And when a lot of stuff is thrown at you, the goals should never change - we just need to find different ways of going at those goals and that’s adapting, right? Perseverance is also incredibly important because you really just have to keep going and going. And to keep going, you need courage. Grit has helped us through the time of the pandemic and sets the stage for anyone in leadership - or anyone with any kind of goal - to just keep going. The great thing is that we know on the other side of any crisis is the opportunity to grow, and we always come out okay. We just have to have some optimism and keep going.