Keynote speaker Simon T. Bailey kicked off the ISACA/IIA Governance, Risk, and Control (GRC) Conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., today with his session, "Shift Your Brilliance — Leading Amidst Change and Uncertainty." Bailey, a business strategist and entrepreneur, advised leaders on how to accept change and embrace uncertainty as their businesses face unprecedented technological, cultural, and other tectonic shifts.
"We have an opportunity to own the moment," Bailey told the sold-out GRC audience. "The question we have to ask ourselves is how am I showing up in this moment to be my best self — to lead my organization, to lead my team, especially in the midst of uncertainty?"
That process, Bailey emphasizes, begins internally. To lead effectively, he says, every leader needs to introspect and seek to improve him or herself. Toward that end, he advises applying what he calls the "15-7-30-90" method. The process begins with taking 15 minutes a day to focus on what you want to accomplish — this is practiced 7 days per week, checking in every 30 days to review progress, and then taking a deeper dive every 90 days to assess progress from a broader perspective.
To further self-improvement efforts, Bailey encouraged audience members to surround themselves with a "personal board of directors." The board would comprise individuals "with different competencies, different skill sets, and a different understanding that challenges you to rise to the occasion," he says. It should be a group of people who inspire you, motivate you, and challenge you — whose advice you seek on important personal and professional matters.
Turning toward how leaders influence and inspire others, Bailey emphasized the importance of establishing good relationships. "One of the goals every leader needs to be thinking about is how do we move from command and control to collaboration and connection," he says. Relationship-building, he explains, is key to a leader's ability to motivate and inspire. And creating those relationships depends largely on one's ability to empathize, he says, adding that empathy is the No. 1 skill taught in Silicon Valley. "People don't care what you know until they know how much you care," he says.
To effectively lead through change, Bailey says leaders must embrace what he calls the "vuja de moment." This is the opposite of déjà vu, and it reflects the ability to look at what you have been doing with a fresh set of eyes as if you've never a seen it before. "It's asking yourself a different set of questions that will challenge you on the way you've done things, as well as on what can be done and what needs to be undone," he says.
After sharing numerous tips and strategies for leading through change and uncertainty, Bailey concluded with a quote from philosopher Eric Hoffer: "In times of change, the learners will inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."