Weekly Thoughts

Trust in the face of COVID

By Rick James

I’m a big fan of the work of Veronica Hope Hailey. In the last few months she’s published some ground-breaking research on trust in the face of COVID-19, which we will look at in the next couple of weeks. She found that in the first stage of COVID last year, even in midst the midst of restructuring, divestment and redundancy programs, high trust leaders still lived out the four key ingredients of trust:

Ability: They empowered employees and local managers.
Benevolence: They demonstrated care and support for employees both emotionally and practically.
Integrity: They communicated how they would navigate the crisis in a timely, open and respectful manner. They sought to demonstrate the sense of fairness that underpinned their difficult decisions.
Predictability: They built a bridge to the future in the minds of the workforces by showing employees that in the midst of disruption there was a continuity of values or purpose, sometimes calling upon their historical roots to show how they informed the future vision.

Take a moment to look back on the last year, how have you got on in these four areas?
As you look to the week ahead, what specific actions could you take to live out these four ingredients of trust?

Holding together

By Rick James

The couple of months since the last weekly thought have still been very strange. Perhaps we need to get used to things being ‘never normal’, rather than a new normal.

Here in the UK we felt very self-satisfied with our vaccination programme and related reduction in social distancing. But in most of the rest of the world this is not the case. We see distance and division increase, with red-listing countries; vaccination inequity and rising inequalities. We witness harrowing disasters across the world, whether natural or man-made in Ethiopia and Afghanistan. Listening to the news, I’m often reminded of the book title by Chinua Achebe ‘Things fall apart’.

Yet the Bible has a different narrative. It says that Jesus ‘is before all things, and in him all things hold together’ (Col 1:17). At times like this I have to shift my gaze. It helps me to meditate on this and apply this to my life today.

What does ‘in him all things hold together’ really mean in our fractured world?
What does it mean for the families, communities and organisations that I am a part of? 

Annual break and Weekly Challenge – Leading out of COVID

Dear colleagues,

As Space for Grace takes its own annual break over the next couple of months, why not take some time to reflect on how God has spoken to you during this time of pandemic? How did the pandemic affected your relationship with God?

Over the coming months we wanted to showcase your own thoughts and experiences to the topic ‘Leading out of COVID’ (though we know many of us are still in the midst of it). Please do send your own responses to that question (however you interpret it). We’ll help you turn them into Weekly Thoughts that can be shared with this wider community…

Do send your responses to: Elaine Vitikainen elaine@ev-visuals.com

As ways to provoke your thinking you might consider questions like:

  • What have I learned about my leadership through this pandemic?
  • What do I hope to take with me and hold onto from this experience?
  • What does my leadership need to be like ‘post’-pandemic?
  • How would I reimagine my organisation to become fit for purpose in our radically changing world?

These are only questions to stimulate your thoughts, so don’t use them too prescriptively. They are not ones to structure your response around, unless you find that particularly helpful.

The next Weekly Thought will be posted on the 12th of September.

Cheers

Rick and Elaine

Interruptions as a breath of life

By Henrik Sonne Peterson

COVID-19 has been a massive ‘interruption’. It has forced me to try and change my attitude to interruptions. Interruptions take time from my administrative tasks. More fundamentally they undermine my attempts to generate order. So naturally I try to ‘refuse’ them. But more recently I have been trying to allow interruptions a place, giving them “space and grace”. Not in order to control them, but trying to listen to what they bring to me, looking out for how they might influence what I was about to do or write. Sometimes they inspire me to include things I had not thought about. Although this is still not easy to do, it does make sense. 

I find it a way of identifying ‘anchor points’ where I allow my faith to surface during the day. In this way, interruptions paradoxically become a breath of life, a surprising experience of God’s transformative presence (although at the time this may feel more like disruption than transformation!). Interruptions enable my generosity to grow. They change my attitude to my work and my life. They turn my leadership into servantship.

(Repost) Weekly Challenge – Leading out of COVID

Dear colleagues,

Instead of a weekly thought this week, we would like to set you a challenge. Over the next few weeks we wanted to showcase your own thoughts and experiences to the topic ‘Leading out of COVID’ (though we know many of us are still in the midst of it). Please do send your own responses to that question (however you interpret it). We’ll help you turn them into Weekly Thoughts that can be shared with this wider community…

Do send your responses to: Elaine Vitikainen elaine@ev-visuals.com

As ways to provoke your thinking you might consider questions like:

  • What have I learned about my leadership through this pandemic?
  • What do I hope to take with me and hold onto from this experience?
  • What does my leadership need to be like ‘post’-pandemic?
  • How would I reimagine my organisation to become fit for purpose in our radically changing world?

These are only questions to stimulate your thoughts, so don’t use them too prescriptively. They are not ones to structure your response around, unless you find that particularly helpful.

Cheers

Rick and Elaine

Weekly Challenge – Leading out of COVID

Dear colleagues,

Instead of a weekly thought this week, we would like to set you a challenge. Over the next few weeks we wanted to showcase your own thoughts and experiences to the topic ‘Leading out of COVID’ (though we know many of us are still in the midst of it). Please do send your own responses to that question (however you interpret it). We’ll help you turn them into Weekly Thoughts that can be shared with this wider community…

Do send your responses to: Elaine Vitikainen elaine@ev-visuals.com

As ways to provoke your thinking you might consider questions like:

  • What have I learned about my leadership through this pandemic?
  • What do I hope to take with me and hold onto from this experience?
  • What does my leadership need to be like ‘post’-pandemic?
  • How would I reimagine my organisation to become fit for purpose in our radically changing world?

These are only questions to stimulate your thoughts, so don’t use them too prescriptively. They are not ones to structure your response around, unless you find that particularly helpful.

Cheers

Rick and Elaine