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A Toolkit for Leading in Times of Crisis

The demands on today’s corporate leaders are becoming ever more complex.

From dealing with globalised viruses, such as Covid19, to the impact of AI, climate change and political risk, leaders need to be confident and realistic about the challenges they face and the attributes they need. What are these qualities, how do they support good decision-making, and can they be learned?

Join us for a panel discussion with Nick Van Dam, Chief Learning Officer at IE University, Jacqueline Brassey, Director of Learning at Mckinsey & Co. to debate such fundamental issues as:

  • How to feel safe in times of constant change?
  • How to help your teams to continue performing despite fast-changing circumstances
  • How important is self-knowledge when learning to lead?
  • Can anyone develop the confidence and skills to lead?
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Dr. Jacqui Brassey, Director of Learning and Global Learning Leadership Team member at McKinsey & Company, Adjunct Professor and a member of the Center for Corporate Learning Innovation at IE University.
Meet our Guest

Dr. Jacqui Brassey

Director of Learning and Global Learning Leadership Team member at McKinsey & Company, Academic researcher at the University of Amsterdam, Adjunct Professor at IE University and member of the Supervisory Board of Save the Children NL

Before joining McKinsey, Dr. Jacqui spent most of her professional life in business including 10 years with Unilever, in a variety of global HR Expertise roles both in the Netherlands and in London. Dr. Jacqui holds degrees in business and medical sciences: a B.Com. in International Business & Languages (Avans University of Applied Sciences), a Cum Laude B.A./M.A. in Policy & Organization Studies (Tilburg University), a Ph.D. in Economics & Business (Groningen University), and a joint MSc. in Affective Neuroscience (Maastricht University and University of Firenze).

Dr. Jacqui is an author and co-author of more than 20 books/bookchapters, articles and papers. She is a passionate speaker with appearances among TED’s illustrious influencers and has reached thousands of people around the world with her keynote  “Authentic Confidence Through Emotional Flexibility” where she talks about her own confidence crisis and her journey to full recovery afterward.

Learn more about Dr. Jacqui Brassey
Nick van Dam, Chief Learning Officer, IE University. Professor and Director of the IE Center for Corporate Learning Innovation
Meet our Guest

Dr. Nick van Dam

Nick is an internationally recognized thought leader, advisor and researcher on Corporate Learning and Leadership Development

Dr. van Dam has over 30 years of business experience as a former Partner, Global Chief Learning Officer, HR-Executive, and Client Advisor at McKinsey as well as at Deloitte. He has authored and coauthored more than 25 books and numerous articles on innovations in learning and leadership development.

Under the patronage of the European Parliament Federal Ministry of Education & Research, Nick has received the 2013 Leonardo European Corporate Learning Award for ‘shaping the future of organizational learning and leadership development’.

Dr. Nick is a Board Member at IE University (Spain), Chief of the Center for Corporate Learning Innovation and a member of the IE Center for Health, Wellbeing and Happiness. He is a Professor at IE University, Nyenrode and the University of Pennsylvania. He is also affiliated with McKinsey & Company as an External Senior Advisor and the founder of the e-Learning for Kids Foundation – and institution that has provided free digital lessons for more than 20 million underprivileged elementary school children.

Learn more about Dr. Nick van Dam

In this Episode

As a leader, how can you manage the emotions of your teams in turbulent times? Be aware that what you express and what you beam out has an impact on others at the same time. On purpose, being calm and what helps to keep people focused is to talk about an operating model that works for people in different ways. Everybody's in different situations. Make explicit agreements on what is possible at the moment, and what is not, or what times are difficult, and what times are less well to work. And then as a core team in everything that you do have a conversation about what is truly valuable for us as a team - What are our values? What matters in the work that we do? Where do we want to work towards? So in the absence of a clear picture, and a clear vision, you can still create relative clarity to talk about.
How can you avoid feeling overwhelmed or a sense that all pressure is anew when working remotely for an extended period? One practice I would recommend people to use is to draw three circles or have three columns, and ask yourself the question: "What are the things I can control?" "What it is that I can influence?" "What are things which are outside my control?" If we list that for ourselves, it's like, "Okay, there's a mindset exercise that is basically the things that we cannot control. Guess what, it doesn't make any sense superior about those." The things we can influence, let's see what our influence can be, and the things we can control, let go for them. But basically addressing what we cannot control and feel at peace with that can help tremendously when you think about being overwhelmed.
How do you build and maintain trust within the team in a remote working environment? Communication is incredibly important for building trust. It's important for a leader to be open, to be honest, and to be vulnerable. And I think that's a huge way to build trust. I think what's key is that, as a leader, we make sure that people understand, to know, that what they do matters. What you're doing is important for your organization for the future. I think also key that if people have less work, that we explore how they can be involved in other activities that will support your organization.
It's important for a leader to be open, to be honest, and to be vulnerable. And I think that's a huge way to build trust. Nick van Dam
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