May 5, 2020
The Practice of Challenge the Process encourages us to “Search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and by looking outward for innovative ways to improve.” And as I’m sure you’ll agree, today’s pandemic has thrust us all into a Challenge the Process world in which everything has changed.
As a trainer and coach my world has been turned upside down, as have the lives of everyone on the planet. Yet in looking for a path forward, even as we struggle to work in survival mode, the LPI®’s essential 30 leadership behaviors shine out like beacons of hope through the dark night. Especially relevant to me as I attempt to adapt to my new reality are the behaviors related to Challenge the Process:
3. Seeks out challenging opportunities to test his/her own skills and abilities
8. Challenges people to try out new and innovative ways to do their work
13. Actively searches for innovative ways to improve what we do
18. Asks “What can we learn?” when things don’t go as expected
23. Identifies measurable milestones that keep projects moving forward
28. Takes initiative in anticipating and responding to change
I was reminded of every one of these behaviors most recently as I prepared for my very first webinar on Zoom. If my work was to continue, I realized, engaging leaders virtually was the only way forward (LPI item #28). It was certainly new for me (#6) and I saw it as a challenging opportunity (#3) that definitely tested my skills and abilities. I spent a day researching the best platform to meet my needs (#13), even creating a green screen for my background (thanks, YouTube!). I then mapped out a path for learning as much as I could (#23) and took notes on the glitches that happened during the inaugural webinar (#18).
I discovered that my audience was very forgiving and offered me some great feedback (LPI Item #16) on small improvements I can utilize in my next webinar. And although it was a challenge, we all learned from the experience and even managed to have some fun!
Going forward, I intend to continue to develop my virtual skills in order to be as productive, relevant, and effective as possible in helping leaders unleash their full potential. My challenge to each of you is to use these critical Challenge the Process behaviors as a template to navigate this current upheaval and move into the future. Let’s keep adapting and adjusting so we can keep serving and loving!
Alan Lyme, LISW, a Certified Master of The Leadership Challenge®, is Director of Training for the Phoenix Center, a nonprofit drug and alcohol prevention and treatment facility in Greenville, South Carolina. He also is a member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers and can be reached at email@example.com.