How to be a Limitless Leader In Times of Uncertainty with Edward Okuoga from Workskil
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we work. Face-to-face interactions in the workplace have given way to virtual communication and hybrid work. As leaders, we have to rethink how we approach our processes in times of uncertainty. Effective, strong leadership means being able to adapt and pivot in the face of change.
In this episode, Edward Okuoga from Workskil joins us to discuss a leader's must-have qualities in changing times. He also shares his experience of joining the Limitless Leaders 90-day Connection program. Lastly, Edward gives advice to other leaders who might be struggling to usher their team through work transitions.
If your business is about to enter a time of uncertainty and is in need of strong leadership, this episode is for you.
Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:
- Discover the five key traits a leader should have during times of transition, such as a pandemic.
- Find out more about the possible strategies you can utilise for effective, strong leadership.
- Uncover what you can learn at mentoring programs.
- Sign up for Limitless Leaders 90-day Connection program and Renee’s other events
- Connect with Workskil Australia on LinkedIn and their website
- Check out Renee’s recent read: Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart
[2:31] Edward's Take on the Meaning of Leadership
- For Edward, strong leadership starts with the self. It means knowing your limits.
- You must assess your strengths and weaknesses so that you can empower others.
- A leader should be well-rounded to get people where they need to be.
[3:49 ] The Impact of COVID-19 in Workplaces
- The pandemic has transformed businesses and organisations, including Workskil Australia, where Edward is the state manager.
- Workskil Australia was able to adapt and adjust because of the organisation's open mindset and growth.
- They quickly changed to a virtual workplace once the pandemic hit.
- They encountered issues from transitioning to virtual work, but proactive teamwork pushed through these issues.
[5:06] Strong Leadership in Remote Work
- Innovation is crucial. You must find ways to engage your teams in a virtual or hybrid setting.
- Being a leader is two-fold. There are systems you need to put in place to ensure the conduct of business, but you also have to support your teams to adjust to these systems.
- Edward quotes Marcus Aurelius, “Life's happiness depends on the quality of your thoughts.”
- Renee adds that you should choose what you think and create boundaries and habits from your thoughts.
- Empathy is essential to strong leadership. Workskil Australia accommodated individual staff needs, which helped form the mindset of their teams for virtual work.
[10:18] Five Key Traits of a Leader
- Every leader needs to have awareness of oneself and others. This helps you manage and support your team.
- A leader should engage in reflection. Understanding the “why” and “what” you’re doing makes it easier for you to guide others to get where they need to be.
- Since there’s a lot of changes happening in our world, a leader needs to have consistency and stability.
- Being optimistic is also critical. There’s so much negativity surrounding us, so optimism will power you and your team through.
- Strong leadership requires hope. It means reframing your mind to think about what’s possible as a collective.
[8:32] Joining Mentoring Programs
- Edward participated in the Limitless Leaders 90-day Connection program.
- You can get insights from different leaders from various industries in mentoring programs.
- These insights can open your eyes to different views and strategies you can use to better yourself as a leader.
[21:38] Edward’s “Aha!” Moments From the Program
- He had a realisation about the fear of responsibility that a leader has on his shoulders.
- He also learned the importance of optimising leadership.
- Edward later read more about these topics, so he can reflect on how he can incorporate this into his leadership approach.
[24:18] Key Takeaways
- Edward implemented coaching sessions into practice. It is sharing information you have and passing it on to someone else for improvement.
- In these coaching sessions, you can put out the idea you have and it can be expounded on from the feedback of your team.
- Coaching provides an avenue where feedback flows both ways.
- It’s better to have ongoing feedback rather than having only performance reviews after the matter.
[33:19] Advice to Other Leaders
- Strong leadership requires an open mind and a learner’s mindset. We do not know everything in life, so we have to learn from others.
- In mentoring programs, you can gain knowledge by listening to those from other industries.
- Mentoring programs can also help you understand the “why” in what you’re doing.
- Most people gravitate towards an organisation based on how well its values tie in with their personal ones.
[37:44] Fast Talk Questions
- Gratitude is Edward’s favourite word.
- If he were in another profession, he would probably be a general practitioner.
- Edward says you should never say never when it comes to career pivots.
- His advice to his younger self is to follow your passion, and nothing is impossible if you put your heart into it.
[8:26] Edward: ‘Change is inevitable, but it takes an organisation putting some pillars in place to support everyone.’
[11:26] Edward: ‘Once the people we work with understand the “why”, then as a leader, it makes it easier for you to be able to guide them to where we need to go.’
[15:21] Edward: ‘Every single day, I'm grateful for something. I find that that plays a part in how I lead, and how I work with my colleagues or other partnerships that we collaborate with.’
[19:30] Edward: ‘Create more future leaders and having an environment that can match that — being able to give people that space in room to grow. Those are some of the things I found really important in participating in the program.’
[27:53] Edward:’It ‘s also important for leaders to get feedback as well. I find during coaching sessions, the feedback goes, flows both ways.’
Edward Okuoga is a state manager at Workskil Australia. Workskil Australia is a not-for-profit employment services agency. They help job seekers find social and economic independence through work, and businesses find hard working, reliable staff. They deliver programs with a focus on disability, youth, community and Indigenous service.
You can reach Edward through LinkedIn.
Enjoy This Podcast?
Leadership in changing times can be difficult, but you can adopt certain traits to get your team through it. You can also join mentorship programs to gain the skill you need.
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To leading the future,