We often rely on our past experiences to make any decision. After all, if it worked before, it should work again, right? For effective leaders, the vast majority of the time, that holds. But in our AI-driven technology environment, when the pace of change in the world borders on frenzied and chaotic, what worked in the past may not be effective in the present. We risk falling into traps when we manage problems the same way each time.
According to Harvard Medical School professor and co-author of Real-Time Leadership, Carol Kauffman, successful leaders take a more expansive view of situations. They evaluate problems across a broader set of possible solutions and dynamically adapt their management to each problem. “Organizations evolve, and what got you here isn’t necessarily what’s going to get you there,” says Kauffman.
Create Space For Thinking
Kauffman suggests that leaders create space for thinking about problems and resist falling back on solving problems the same way. “One of the things that really helped us think about this is the Viktor Frankl quote that, ‘Between every stimulus and response there is a space, and in that space is our freedom,'” she says. “What we try to do in Real-Time Leadership is help people know to make that space, but then what to do in that space.”
To help leaders create space and take a more expansive view of situations, Kauffman recommends using the MOVE framework, which stands for Mindfully alert, Options generator, Validate your vantage point, and Engage and effect change. Leaders can make better decisions in high-stress situations by expanding leadership skills beyond just getting things done and considering inner resources and how to relate to others.
Operate In The Third Dimension
For Kauffman, the MOVE framework is a theoretical and practical approach for leaders to handle real-world challenges. “The first one, how to be mindfully alert? That’s noticing. How do you create a space by noticing?” she says. “And then noticing what? Most people are one-dimensional leaders, and we need to think about three-dimensional leaders.”
In the first dimension, leaders consider what they need to do, while in the second dimension, they consider who they need to be to make space and choices. The third dimension is how leaders relate to other people, which Kauffman believes is often overlooked. “We tend to get it wrong with the golden rule, treat others as you would want to be treated, as opposed to the platinum rule, treat others as they would want to be treated,” she explains.
As a leader, taking a more expansive view of situations and evaluating problems across a broader set of possible solutions is essential. Instead of relying on past experiences and default options, leaders should create space for thinking and use the MOVE framework to expand their leadership skills. Leaders can make better decisions in high-stress situations by considering what they need to do, who they need to be, and how they relate to others. As Kauffman suggests, “It’s how you overcome that automatic default, particularly under stress.”
This is another example of content primarily created using a language learning model. This post was synthesized from a podcast between Curt Nickisch and Carol Kauffman at the Havard Business Review. A portion of the transcript of the podcast was fed into ChapGPT and summarized. Then ChatGPT was given the following prompt, “Expand that into a blog post. When writing the blog post, please use the active voice, avoid adverbs, avoid exclamation points, include simple words, don’t write in sentence fragments, insert quotes, address readers, and a paragraph should have at least three sentences.” The resulting content was then edited for accuracy and context was added to the introduction. The featured image in the post was created in Midjourey using the prompt, “rethinking your decision-making, watercolor illustration.”