Leading in Challenging Times

We are confronted with quickly changing environments.  Will we take action, be paralyzed or something in between?  Despite these challenging times we need to continue to act.  How we act though, matters.

As outlined in the chart above how what we do in periods of uncertainty can have a dramatic impact on the results of our businesses.  According to the Harvard Business Review article "Roaring Out of a Recession" from March 2010, the companies/teams with a Progressive Focus (Combination of Operational Efficiency with Market Development and Asset Investment) fared best.  Those companies that decided to reduce their workforce and invest in assets had the lowest sales growth.  The companies that reduced employees, focused on operational efficiency and invested in assets had a negative EBITDA.  Expanding during a contraction is the best way to not get caught “with your pants down.”


Investing while increasing efficiencies is the proactive approach we recommend.  This investment should be equally strong with your people as it is with the market.     


Despite this, creating a prognosis in situations of uncertainty might lead us to seeing more risks and threats than opportunities to come. So, “time-travel into the future” might be a solution, as it offers the possibility to look into the past and learn from it.

We offer "6 Foot World Workshops” that give you and your people the opportunity use the 6 Golden Rules in order to help you and your organization discover different scenarios, define them and determine their impacts for your markets, your customers and your company. And, finally, we help you and your people define your next moves – based on a retrospective view from a future point of view.



In a survey with our global customers we asked Managers which “key success factors” in their Leadership-Style they see as most important in these extraordinary times. This resulted in what we call:

“The Six Foot World Golden Rules”:

  1. Focused action                 on important things

  2. Written preparation           for every important action

  3. Empowered focus            by leading through goals (Macro-Management vs. Micro-Management)

  4. Allowed freedom              to be creative, observing the 80/20 rule; say “Good-Bye” to
                                             perfectionism, which is the enemy of greatness

  5. Established success        clear action protocols after each encounter

  6. Continuous follow-up       as agreed to make it happen while staying away from micro-management


Sound familiar? How good is your Management-Team, how good are you in practicing these rules? How well did you manage under “normal” circumstances? We support you in establishing these “Golden Rules” as natural routines in your organizations by impactful training and coaching of your Managers by opening and sharing our tool-box. 

Are you aware what the environment is you are taking decisions in?
And how well is your tool-box equipped for these 6-Foot Times? 

Deciding under "Risk“

Following a scientific definition “Deciding under Risk” means:
“Knowing all the parameters influencing the outcome of the decision – being able to calculate opportunity to win or risk of failing”. An example is a visit to the Casino, are you playing the right game and sitting at the right table?

How many of the decisions are you taking as a Leader? Are you providing the security give that you know all the parameters?

Deciding under “Uncertainty”

Following a scientific definition “Deciding under Uncertainty” means:
“Not knowing all the parameters influencing the outcome of the decision or not being able to quantify them” (Known Knowns, Unknown Knowns, Known Unknowns and Unknown Unknowns).

How many of the decisions you are taking as a Leader are in the environment of “Unknown or Uncertainty”?

In our Leadership and Management Trainings we help you to take a conscious look on the respective environments and we equip you with a professional tool-box for different levels of uncertainty – from “low” to “total” 

VUCA – World²  and
VUCA -Leadership

The VUCA-World as we knew it


Our world has changed! Right now, we live in the “6-Foot-World” confronted with a “VUCA²” – Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity exponentially amplified! Even normal routines have become more strenuous: an online-meeting requires another degree of concentration, a virtual coaching-session with a team-member needs a different approach.
We will not have a world as we knew it before, again. How does the world after the “6-Foot-World” look like? How many “new” worlds will we experience? What does this mean for our Leadership-Style?

The VUCA – Leadership – Model


How well have you defined your company’s Vision, how well have your employees understood the Vision? How well do you understand your employees? Are reaching goals and targets your main focus, are you focused on your employees values and behavior or both? How clear are you in your messages and behaviors? Are you aware of how important your exemplary behavior is especially in a situation of uncertainty? How agile are you, how agile is your organization? How much do you empower your teams and individuals to be as agile as appropriate?

Food for thought: 


Can you keep your team together and motivate them? Or are you just mutating into a boss from hell? How leadership works despite the crisis - and which mistakes you should definitely avoid now

Mistake 1: Deciding too hectically

In crises we react according to an archaic pattern, we freeze or switch to attack mode. Most managers immediately understand why motionlessness is harmful. Only a few recognize that actionism also has negative effects. It feels good to be able to do something.

The problem: In times of crisis, our time horizon and our priorities shift. We are fully focused on surviving the immediate situation. In this firefighting mode, we easily overlook how a decision will affect in the long run. The fear of layoffs or financial losses puts additional pressure on managers. Therefore: Take the time to make a decision, especially in times of crisis. Collect data and facts, study forecasts.

                                                                                                                                           Continue reading full article

In our Leadership and Management Trainings we help you to take a conscious look on the respective environments and we equip you with a professional tool-box for different levels of uncertainty – from “low” to “total” 

Our Methodology

Engaging & Purposeful Leadership Behavior

How do your leaders inspire your people to live up to your vision? How do they create positive business impact? Why should anyone follow your leaders?

Your outcome from our commitment is:


  • On each level of your leadership hierarchy the same language is spoken based on your defined vision and the desired leadership behavior principles


  • Your defined leadership principles are implemented successfully in your organization to create the company culture you need to realize your vision


  • Your leaders are empowered to inspire and engage your people with exemplary leadership behaviors across the matrix organization - breaking down silos to follow your company's vision while creating substantial business impact


The following 4 core leadership modules serve as best practice frame to build and deliver your specific leadership program aligned with your vision and strategy:

  • Leading Essentials

  • Leading Oneself

  • Leading Individuals

  • Leading Teams 

Leading Essentials 

  • Perception & Reality

  • Powerful Questions

  • Attentive Listening

  • Engaging Appreciation

  • Inspring Target Setting

Leading Oneself

  • Setting Priorities

  • Daring to say 'No'

  • Dealing with Stress

  • Emotional Competence

  • Appreciative Communication

Leading Individuals 

  • Empowering People

  • Engaging Decision Making

  • Performance & Development Dialogues

  • GROW Coaching Model

  • Handling Underperformance

Leading Teams

  • Feed Back & Forward Culture

  • Successful Meetings

  • Inspiring Team Work

  • Managing Conflict

  • Handling Escalation Process

Leaders in this program cannot escape: With a pro-active and positive confrontational training style the different leadership behaviors are practiced in front of the training group:


  • For each topic of each module note cards with a clear leadership behavior checklist are provided for future reference during the daily leadership activities


  • These note cards can be easily adapted to the desired company leadership language based on your company’s vision and strategy


  • Should you already have a learning platform on your corporate intranet we can up-load these note cards.

  • (Supporting your program with blended learning elements is recommended – our experts may advise you)


  • After each topic each leader will define concrete actions to be implemented after the training on his/her Individual Action Plan.


  • These Individual Action Plans are followed up by the manager to ensure successful implementation. Each manager of your participants will receive a comprehensive Coaching Kit (L.V.C.K.) to prepare her/him for her/his important coaching role before, during and after the program.  This puts your vision into action. 


  • Sequential vs. consecutive program approach: We recommend running each module in a sequential order with a practical application period of 4 to 8 weeks between the modules to increase the implementation until it turns into a habit – From ‘Knowing-how’ to ‘Showing-how’ to ‘Being-it’ bringing your company’s vision to life


Each module is designed for a 2 day program of behavior training with a leadership group of 8 to 12 people – the full program is recommended to be delivered with a phased approach over 4 x 2 program days  in the course of 6 to 12 months to bring your vision to life.


Interested in learning more? Email us today!

© 2020 by 6 FOOT WORLD & Corporate Culture Alliance