LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) book, Leadership U: Accelerating Through the Crisis Curve, authored by CEO Gary Burnison, shares emotional stories and actionable advice as leaders strive to connect, motivate, and activate their teams amid unprecedented challenges and change—a pandemic, economic turmoil, and calls for long-overdue social action and greater inclusion.
Written in the thick of the pandemic, and an Amazon No. 1 “New Release,” Leadership U captures the stories, emotions, and insights from the front lines of disruptive change in the way people live and work. It distills unique and timely leadership lessons—including the most important of all: “It starts with you, but it’s not about you.”
This is a new playbook—not a framework of what to do, but rather what to think about. It’s an essential guide for leading through times unlike anything that we’ve seen before and charting a future that’s still unknown.
“I truly feel that over the next 2 years there will be more change than in the last 10 years. Different work needs to get done, and work needs to get done differently,” Burnison says. “That’s an opportunity for leaders and organizations.”
Leadership U draws on Korn Ferry’s IP and expertise as a firm that develops nearly 1 million professionals a year and puts someone in a job every three minutes of the workday. It leverages Korn Ferry’s global leadership and professional development capabilities, as well as the vast curriculum and leadership solutions that the firm delivers to organizations.
This is the leadership intelligence that’s needed now more than ever—as new ways of working, continued uncertainty, and social change prompt leaders to reassess the critical skills necessary to lead authentically.
Leaders will learn why “emotion matters”—particularly in times of turmoil and rapid change. Leading others means to meet people where they are—with empathy. “There is a wide range of emotions, and people may be anywhere along the ‘Curve’: from disbelief, anger and withdrawal to acceptance, optimism, and finding meaning,” says Dennis Baltzley, Korn Ferry’s Global Head of Leadership Development Solutions.
Whether they lead teams of 5 or 50,000, or only lead themselves, leaders need insights into the behaviors that influence their leadership style. “By identifying areas for improvement, leaders can become more inclusive leaders who are conscious, curious, and serious,” says Evelyn Orr, Head of Research and Chief Operating Officer of the Korn Ferry Institute. “These aspects of leadership are non-negotiables in today’s business climate.”
When inclusive leadership is embraced and embodied, leaders and their organizations recognize and celebrate every person and their unique perspectives, backgrounds, talents, and contributions. Then leadership truly becomes a journey, ensuring that everyone gets from here—to there.
Leadership U lays out key principles—the Six Degrees of Leadership—that are essential today as organizations accelerate through the crisis, curves, and change.
- Anticipate – predicting what lies ahead.
- Navigate – course correcting in real time.
- Communicate – continually, as leaders are now the messenger and the message.
- Listen – to what you don’t want to hear, making it safe for others to tell the truth without fear of retribution.
- Learn – fail fast, learn faster, to accelerate learning and develop learning agility.
- Lead – being all in, all the time.
Equally compelling, Leadership U dives deep into real-life stories—from long lines for toilet paper and food at the grocery store to health care workers caring for others in an evolving pandemic. Every page captures the mood of these times, as all of us face the unknown.
Leadership U shows why and how leaders must lead others in a different way—first, by understanding the “story behind the story,” such as:
- “We’re all in this together”—the moral of a story from the grocery store, where people came together to help an elderly woman get the basic supplies she needed—and which speaks to the importance of converting self-interest to shared interest.
- “Everything will be OK”—a deep-seated, universal desire to know that there will be a way through the crisis and beyond. It’s a reminder that in bull markets, people look to the leader for validation. In bear markets, they look to the leader for reassurance.
- “The burden on others”—as leaders weigh tough decisions and make the “least-worst” decisions, knowing the burden being placed on others.
- “Vulnerability as a strength”—which applies even more today as vulnerable and inclusive leaders create a culture of “collective genius” that brings out the best in everyone.
At a time when the unexpected is always expected, Leadership U provides guidance and inspiration to leaders who must make purposeful decisions to accelerate the crisis curve. It serves as a reminder that, while no one can control the weather, we can, indeed, adjust our sails.
About Korn Ferry
Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with clients to design their organizational structures, roles and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward, develop and motivate their workforce. And, we help professionals navigate and advance their careers.