Leadership in Distress: Ask the Hard Question

by Deb Knupp & Lisa Slayton /

The GrowthPlay leadership team examined the sign of the times, and asked, what is it that we want to offer our community to elevate hope? That will create clarity and will drive some measure of control and confidence so that people can act courageously in this distress and post stress?  With our Leadership in Distress Series we hope we can draw wisdom and best practices from those who really make a living navigating and helping leaders flourish in all times of prosperity and in spaces of crisis and distress.


Ask the Hard Question


Ask the Hard Question


Deb Knupp: So on a practical level, I’m a leader, listening to this, and I want to take a meaningful next step and really understanding not only this model. I want to also understand what would I do on a practical level, not to keep defaulting to command and control, but actually make some space to do that. What are some points of guidance that I could take and tactically or consciously. Maybe it’s a better way to ask that.


Lisa Slayton: Well, I think there are a couple of possibilities. I was on a webinar last week with David Stone and his team that they’re putting into application immediately. And so I began to adopt them. One is to counsel leaders to ask their leadership team to begin to keep kind of a leadership journal and it’s not a long missive. It’s two or three stories or examples, a day of where they’ve seen something happen that is moving things forward. Doesn’t have to be a big deal. But if you collect those stories and then gather together to process them, you begin to see new patterns emerge. And that’s what we’re looking for. What are the new things that are emerging.


The other thought that I’ve been playing around with and beginning to make recommendations around is to intentionally put together small teams of people not big teams, but small teams three or four that are from various places in your organization. Maybe it’s a senior leader who’s been around for a long time knows the business really well