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Leadership Moments Podcast

Louise Clarke

EPISODE 63 44:46

Surviving the fires – Leading and learning through crisis

Louise Clarke
Oscar Trimboli

Listen to a great story as we discuss how to lead yourself through crisis and give a host of reflective questions to support individual and team learning. Louise Clarke shares her experiences and the learnings about self and leadership as she defended her cattle property against the bushfires last year. All very relevant to the situation we find ourselves in today.

Louise also shares a wonderful survival story about cows and their calves - don’t miss it!


Transcript Ep 63 - Louise Clarke

You'LL Learn

We can automatically go on auto-pilot and internalise things. Be kind to yourself, step-back and think about what other people are experiencing and what’s happening – they are going through just as much turmoil and emotion as you are.

It’s not us as a leader to fix everything. Don’t bottle it up, be open and give yourself some time to talk about what you are experiencing and how it’s impacting you and what you are doing. In the current situation share emotions, share challenges, use technology to talk and stay connected.

People will find a way to help – don’t be scared to ask for it

Look after yourself and check in with other people about how you are showing up to them - be aware of your behaviour and the impact that has on them

Look for the opportunity to build new relationships and learn more about people you know – sharing ‘war’ stories is part of this. Have conversations with people and keep the mind away from what you can’t control, give yourself time for a little bit of ‘normality’

Be mindful of your communication to people going through a crisis and that you are not putting pressure on them to respond when they may need space to process things

Step back and focus on the positives in any situation – think about what the opportunities are, look forward at what you can do

The best leadership learning is by confronting and working through challenges. Now presents a great opportunity for real learning. Take the time to step back as individuals and a team to reflect and have the conversations:

  • What is going well?
  • What is not going well?
  • What am I learning?
  • What will I do differently?

We are role models and we influence/impact people by what we do - remember it is the little things that count for others. Questions to ask yourself:

  • How am I impacting others?
  • How are others impacting me?

Be mindful of the story you are telling yourself about what is going on – check in with others to see how they are experiencing things to get clarity about a situation, check the facts

You may not realise that somethings you are doing is not working for an individual – different people find different things helpful or not helpful. Questions you can ask:

  • What can I do to work better with you?
  • What’s something I’m doing that has a negative impact on you?

Final reflective questions:

  • What are the positives?
  • What are you going to focus on – what can you do?
  • How have you got through adversity in the past or what are other doing that works?
  • What thinking or mindset helps?
  • What behaviour works?
  • What systems or processes are useful?
  • What relationships can you leverage or develop?
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