Harvey Lloyd in Humans, Nature and Creativity, Leadership, beBee in English President • The LEAD Center, Ltd Dec 31, 2017 · 5 min read · 1.7K

Approaching Leadership in 2018

Approaching Leadership in 2018

Pic : https://www.flickr.com/photos/kakissel/6242818496

Help me get to where you are.

Seven very easy words but can change the outcome and face of a company.  The last few years have described leadership assuming that everyone else knows what you know and have drawn the exact same wisdom from this knowledge.  Where “I” am, is not necessarily where you are.

In leadership we carry the burden of not only bringing the company forward but also bringing those in our charge forward also.  Sure we should hire those who are best suited for the task, but no one has seen your vision or you methods of success.

Settling into the new year always brings new thoughts and challenges as we review the previous years journey.  I would like to not create a new years resolution but rather plant a seed.  A seed, if you will, of perspective change.

Consider the following points:

  • Knowledge is at the fingertips of anyone willing to search and ask questions.

  • Discernment is the process of parsing, aligning and summarizing this information into actionable line items.

  • Wisdom is the cycle of the two above and what we learn from our experiences.  A refining of our narrative.

Those we have chosen to help lead our company, wherever their job description has placed them, are somewhere in the cycle leading to wisdom.  Change being a constant, then it would also state that the cycle of knowledge to wisdom is also constant.

The cycle is in one of four states within us:

  • Flowing through change, in order, in a reasonable timeline

  • Lacking knowledge or efforts to retrieve

  • Discernment that has lead to judgement with opinionated outcomes that are not actionable

  • Inability to reflect on knowledge+discernment and gather the wisdom needed to go forward.

There is a constant within this process that can be inhibitive.  Pride.  You may have another term for this such as stubborn, hard headed, arrogant or many other such adjectives that describe an individual.  They complete the cycle but it always comes to an outcome they can feel secure, empowered or successful.

In leadership we can choose to correct or coach the individual.  The operative word is chose.  It is a choice for 2018 we should consider.  Within our personal and professional relationships we have this choice.  We all have an automatic response related to a perspective of contempt to conflict avoidance.

A note on correcting.  Correcting establishes only two outcomes.  The outward view of the behavior has changed or it has not.  Right or wrong.  This will always lead to an acceptable team member or a team member who is no longer with the company.  But what if we want exceptional team members?

If i could be so bold as to plant a seed of coaching where you deem it viable within your paradigm.  If you make the choice to coach then give some thought to the following:


We can't know it all.  Given this premise, we all take what we do know and discern our next steps within our life experience (wisdom).  Often times though to introduce new knowledge, not formally considered, imposes self-critical thinking upon learning.

If the individual is stuck here then use caution as you approach the knowledge deficit.  Utilizing books you have read or speakers you have listened to, allow the individual to seek the answer on their own.  You pose the question, not the answer.

Knowledge deficits usually indicate poor habits of learning.  Perfectionism can lead to singular skills that get outdated as individuals do not like to take risk with new knowledge or skill development.

The leader should fully understand that at one point they too were in the same spot.  It was difficult to let go of what worked yesterday, for a changing future.  Lead the individual to self correct in this area.  Make it their idea.

Not to get deep into the fake news conversation, i would state we are all highly susceptible to this type of news.  Knowledge when presented by a trusted associate, boss or a source we otherwise trust may still be fake news unless we discern our own personal position from multiple perspectives.  The originating source maybe alerting us to something, but the reality that it was presented within, may make it fake or less earth shattering.


This is a word that has taken on a bad definition.  In short it is merely the process that one goes through to eliminate that which is not relevant and prioritizing facts germane to the goal or task.  In some ways it is really reducing the chaos into actionable concepts to disseminate to the team.

Discernment is not judgement.  Judgement is a unilateral concept that we act on.  Discernment is the process of gathering knowledge, team inputs and self reflection of previous outcomes.


Coaching an individual stuck here who always aligns knowledge into very simple boxes the same way every time, is not an easy task.  They will always seek knowledge that fits their box, instead of seeking new knowledge that may remove or add a new box.  If the individual believes the world is flat, they will only filter information according to that paradigm.

In leadership this is not a right or wrong scenario.  It is a perspective issue.  Our wisdom (life narrative) builds the boxes.  The longer we use the boxes as our filter then the harder they become to remove.  But there is another deeper phenomena that is attached to the boxes.  The boxes are our identity.

In coaching this individual you most first start with honesty.  Tell them up front that you would like to walk with them, mentor, through discernment best practice.  You can use any word you choose but the idea is to coach them to get the best information build a new box that can be accepted or rejected.  No you will not be changing their boxes but rather helping them see different boxes that may or may not be relevant to the goal.  With repetition they can begin to seek outside of their box views concerning future endeavours.


“Wisdom is something that’s hard to define and yet somehow we know it when we see it. The wise people stay calm in a crisis. They can step back and see the bigger picture. They’re thoughtful and self-reflective. They recognise the limits of their own knowledge, consider alternative perspectives, and remember that the world is always changing.”  Claudia Hammond  http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20170124-how-to-be-wiser

Everyone has access to knowledge and will discern this knowledge and make decisions.  Wisdom is the ability to self reflect and accurately self assess.  This cycle can also lead to the helpless hopeless cycle, but that is beyond the scope of this post.  Being able to accept yourself as a less than perfect person is the type of self assessment i am referring.  Seeing life as a cycle of ups and downs that with each cycle i am growing in wisdom is the target.

If you find an individual stuck here they are likely to stand very firm and tall on thin air as they face new frontiers.  The King has no clothes story comes to mind.  If change is a constant then wisdom ebbs and flows with the change.

Think back five years ago.  Try and capture your thoughts of the future you now live in.  Does it match?  This is not a question of are you better off, but a thought about how wisdom changes our perspective journeys along the way.  Five years ago i was asking questions about the future for which i had no wisdom.  My question, goals or perspectives could and most likely were faulty.  The cycle presented here would establish that as a fact that we live with each day.

This is the hardest of the three areas to coach.  This area pokes your nose in the tent of an individual's belief systems, emotional paradigms and a narrative that is fully developed.

The first and most important coaching point is to help the individual see they are part of a system, not the system themselves.  A race car driver may be able to ride around a track 200+ mph and win the trophy.  This success is predicated on raw material mining, exploration, engineering and a team of people making decisions about track conditions and car setup.

I was asked to come and lead a small national construction firm.  My caveat was to work in each department from job cost accounting, estimating through project management.  The owner allowed me six weeks at this process.  This was time well spent in understanding the support structure that showed up on the bottom line.  It gave me the wisdom that i needed to move forward with effective wisdom.

Having someone participate across their domain in the real world of each department is one way to help them understand the broader concepts of success through wisdom.

I have been called soft on leadership, seen as avoiding conflict and in many cases called out by my own teams.  The process outlined here is the basis of good fundamental leadership.  It plays out differently with each person.  I know that even if i choose to support this coaching aspect, it may still fail.  But i also know that those who plant the seed do not always receive the harvest.  The harvest may come two jobs later for the individual.  When we practice humanity we are saying that we plant seeds not just for our own benefit but also for the future of others.  I have always felt that every person deserves my best leader capabilities.  Not perfect, but best practice.

There is one decision that will eventually have to be made.  Change is difficult for humans, once set within their own narrative.  Each leadership encounter cannot always carry the individual to the finish line.  You may need to set them on a journey to the next leg of their growth journey.

For 2018 let’s look at our own view of our team members and their “status” and turn it into a plan to plant new seeds from where they are, help them get to where you are standing.

Great wishes for your 2018

Randall Burns Jan 1, 2018 · #30

#28 Agreed @Geoff Hudson-Searle Great points and insight, but can I keep my "flip phone"?

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Harvey Lloyd Jan 1, 2018 · #29

#28 Thanks for your insights @Geoff Hudson-Searle. I couldn't agree more. The methods and the motivation of information is a very dynamic place right now. CEO's would do well to keep in mind the message should still be based in the fundamentals of leadership. Whether you post it, blurt it from a bull horn or use native smoke signals. The methods, as important as they are, are not what makes a company great.

My personal opinion is that the buzz and bright lights have taken away from the message.

Again thank you for your posts and comments here. I enjoy our discussions and gain insight into a corporate world i left many years ago. Happy New Year:)

+4 +4
Geoff Hudson-Searle Jan 1, 2018 · #28

Interesting buzz @Harvey Lloyd I really enjoyed reading your prospective and hearing about your experiences. Leadership is widely being discussed the pace of digital disruption has left 50 per cent of businesses and public sector organisations fearful or worried that their organisations will not be able to keep up with what is still to come over the next five years. It is clear that as technology continues to transform business models, a new breed of corporate leader is emerging who is digitally-savvy and assiduously curious. Rather than fearing change and obsessively trying to retain control, the most accomplished CEOs accept that for an organisation to compete globally and attract and retain the best talent, they must be highly collaborative, operationally focused and ruthlessly strategic. It is not enough for businesses to simply be aware of digital advance they must interpret what these could mean for them and how they might benefit. Senior executives of large incumbent organisations have many legitimate concerns and questions about the opportunity that digital presents.

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Harvey Lloyd Jan 1, 2018 · #27

#26 Those are difficult settings. We recently changed our focus and had to work with 2 key team members find new jobs. The process is always pensive but these came out well.

Thanks for your thoughts and stopping by. May the new year bring you a bounty of peace and joy

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Lisa Gallagher Jan 1, 2018 · #26

"There is one decision that will eventually have to be made. Change is difficult for humans, once set within their own narrative. Each leadership encounter cannot always carry the individual to the finish line. You may need to set them on a journey to the next leg of their growth journey." We had to do this recently and it's actually going to benefit us and the person who will be beginning a new journey in his own life. Positive outcomes can come from setting someone on a new journey for both parties if done properly. Great buzz @Harvey Lloyd

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Randall Burns Jan 1, 2018 · #25

#23 #16 LMAO!!! It's -35C here in Northern Alberta Boys. :-) (For you Americans -40C is = to -40F; this temperature is the same on both scales, just to give you a perspective)

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Randall Burns Jan 1, 2018 · #24

#22 Haha! @Harvey Lloyd You've given me a great idea, an inspiration for a new post, "Ego". Agreed that "definitions" can be tricky, especially when written, (as opposed to a "face to face" conversation), words have many different connotations for different people.

At the risk of sounding critical, which I'm not, my intent is to be supportive and illustrate what has motivated me to write this new article is your comment of,

"Honest feedback sucks. No way around it"

That sentiment comes straight from the Ego. I will expand upon this, and other aspects in the article.

Always a pleasure to have these great discussions with you Harvey, I do appreciate your perspectives as well. See you in The New Year!

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Harvey Lloyd Jan 1, 2018 · #23

#16 This time next year, Lord willing, i would rather name five people who each of us impacted.

We are -6.1 here and there doesn't seem to be any let up in the near future.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket. I get it. The question is what remnant will be left? Maybe one of the five we have challenged ourselves with to grow?

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