These days, leaders face two relentless sources of pressure. The first is the intense demand to perform— to deliver excellent short-term results despite radical shifts in what customers need, where and how people work, and whether supply chains function at all. The second is the urgent need to transform—to reimagine the future of your marketplace and your workplace, given all these radical shifts, and to reinvent your organization’s strategy and culture to win that future. Dealing with either source of pressure is tough. But meeting both of them, at the same time, can feel genuinely daunting. The challenge of performing while transforming has become the leadership challenge of our time.
So how do leaders meet that challenge? How do they deliver for today even as they disrupt for tomorrow? In this timely and practical keynote, Bill Taylor offers a set of lessons, case studies, and grounded takeaways to help executives and organizations in all sorts of fields resolve the four tensions that make it so hard to perform and transform, especially in a period of such confusion and uncertainty.
The first tension is about managing time: How can leaders avoid getting overwhelmed by day-to-day tasks that feel so urgent, at the expense of game-changing initiatives that are truly important?
The second tension is about managing stress: How do CEOs, business-unit heads, or team leaders solve problems that their organizations have never encountered before, because they have never faced this kind of economic and social environment before, without burning out or breaking down?
The third tension is about managing failure: How do leaders encourage people to face big problems, and experiment with major innovations, when the stakes are so high and success is not guaranteed?
The fourth tension is about managing morale: How do leaders help their colleagues to stay upbeat, energetic, and confident, when it is so easy to feel beaten down, exhausted, and anxious?
- William Taylor, Entrepreneur & Innovator; Co-founder, Fast Company; Bestselling Author: Simply Brilliant, Practically Radical, and Mavericks at Work