Podcast Ep. 90: How to Lead in Times of Crisis with Christy Erbeck

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Episode Description:

On today’s episode of the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast, Dan Neumann and Christy Erbeck discuss how to lead in times of crisis and come out of it stronger than ever.

As a leader, it is critically important to take care of yourself during crises so you can lead others through them as well. Christy shares her tips for leading through crisis, key strategies leaders can begin to implement, and how to cultivate a healthy work environment for everyone involved.

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Key Takeaways

  • Christy’s tips for leaders, leading in a time of crisis:
    • Use it as a time to reflect on where you are now and where you want to be on the other side of it all
    • Take time to process your emotions and lead from a place of truth 
    • Lead by example; take care of yourself and work at a sustainable pace while encouraging the rest of the team
    • Transparency is key – be transparent about where you are, as a team, as an organization, and in relation to the difficult decisions you’ve had to make to survive the crisis (transparency offers the opportunity for growth and building trust within the organization)
    • Understand your audience in your approach with being transparent; it is important to care for the person receiving the information
    • Going hand-in-hand with transparency, it is also critical to communicate (and the need for communication exponentially rises the greater the crisis)
    • Meaningful, intentional communication and ongoing dialogue between the employee and the leader (or the team and the team members) is critically important for minimizing the stories they may be telling themselves when there is a gap in communication or lack of communication
    • Connect in a meaningful way with your employees vs. walking away or being silent
    • Authenticity is critically important in leading through a crisis – it’s not about what you know; it’s about what you’re willing to learn
    • Do not defer taking action until the last possible moment
  • How to come out of a crisis stronger than ever with your team:
    • Delegate decision-making and allow other people to make decisions within a framework
    • Take pragmatic action
    • Ensure you are still meeting and talking about your longer-term strategy beyond COVID-19
    • Examine how to position your organization so that when you come out on the other side of COVID-19, you are attractive to the marketplace and your customers
    • Leverage OKRs
    • Apply an experimental mindset and conduct experiments (one way you could do this is to utilize Kanban boards)
    • Implement empirical process control
    • Cultivate a culture steeped in trust and forgiveness
    • Continual planning
    • Reach out to others as a leader so that you’re not making decisions in a vacuum and are leveraging other people’s expertise
    • Imagine what the leader that you most respect would do; how would they handle this situation? And how can you tap into this person’s expertise?
    • Make the time to reflect and gain perspective
    • Be courageous as a leader by being vulnerable

Mentioned in this Episode

Transcript [This transcript is auto-generated and may not be completely accurate in its depiction of the English language or rules of grammar]

Intro: [00:03] Welcome to Agile Coaches’ Corner by AgileThought, the podcast for practitioners and leaders seeking advice to refine the way they work and pave the path to better outcomes. Now here’s your host, coach and agile expert, Dan Neumann.

Dan Neumann: [00:16] Welcome to the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast. I’m your host Dan Neumann, and joined today by fellow colleague Christy Erbeck. Thanks for joining.

Christy Erbeck: [00:25] Thanks for having me again, Dan. It’s good to be back.

Dan Neumann: [00:29]
And then while we’re thanking people, I guess it’s also appropriate to thank listeners because we wouldn’t be doing episode, you know, I think 90, 91, whatever it is we’re at right now, without people who are listening and some of whom have chosen to submit a question or a comment or simply express gratitude for what we’re bringing. So I want to appreciate people who are taking time to listen and, and thank them for the engagement that they are, are providing with us. So that’s, it’s always exciting to get feedback.

Christy Erbeck: [00:58] It is. It’s how we learn. It’s how we grow and get better. And we’re interested in what our listeners want to know about. So we definitely want to encourage them and invite them to that.

Dan Neumann: [01:12] Yeah. And sometimes it’s, it’s a, you know, we don’t have all the questions in order to, we really pretend to. I think that that’s one of our AgileThought values and we don’t have all the answers and we don’t pretend to, but boy, it’s sometimes interesting. You’ll find the answer or find somebody who might have the answer or simply acknowledge that. That’s a really good question. And you know, here are some things to consider that might point somebody towards the answer they’re looking for. So kind of fun that way. The other random bit for today, as I was reflecting, I was sharing with you before we clicked on record. I think I did my first agile foot race, uh, last weekend. And, um, so people who have listened, I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I do some running and this was my first, uh, attempt at what’s called an eight hour endurance event. So basically it’s an eight hour time box. So a very agile thing. And then you see how many miles you can achieve, uh, running, walking, skipping, however you want to do it, right? You, you do the thing. And there was a bit of a definition of done and that if you don’t complete either the 1.9 mile or the 3.1 mile loop, your miles don’t count. So it’s not just running wherever you end up on, the course is good. You have to complete the whole circle for it to go into your little tally of miles. And, um, so I thought that was interesting. Of course, um, there was a lot of inspecting and adapting, so I don’t know how many listeners have, have run for eight hours. Uh, some have done more I’m sure. And some maybe are like, what eight hours? I don’t run for eight minutes and that’s, and that’s fine too. You know, I’m not judging, there’s just, there’s a whole spectrum of people. And I certainly know a lady I ran with for a while. She’s done 10, 100 mile races so far. So yeah, yeah. We had a lovely little chat while we were out there. And, um, we won’t get into all the gory details of what your body can do when you push it a little too hard. Cause it can get ugly sometimes. But, um, it wasn’t, you know, uh, so timeboxed definition of done inspecting the adapt along the way. And um, yeah, and at eight hours it’s over much. Like we talk about, um, time boxing, a project or product release effort and, and shipping.

Christy Erbeck: [03:31] Exciting. No, I was amazed that you were able to do that and I think you did 38 miles, is that correct? And I said, I, I can’t run 3.8 feet. So I mean, I guess I could if I had to, but that it’s really impressive, quite an accomplishment.

Dan Neumann: [03:56] Thank you. And I think much like in the software world or any other facet, you can always look at somebody else and go, wow, how did they do that? And for me, it was the 19 year old woman who won the overall race, overall distance. And she put in about 48 miles in the same time and it was her first endurance event. And so that was my wow moment. I’m like, I was satisfied with my output and my, my goal. It was a new far distance for me, but there’s always somebody better out there to be like, Hey, I wonder how they did that. I wonder what I could learn from how they did their thing. So that was my, uh, what did I see running is ultimately a selfish endeavor? So I’ve taken my selfish endeavor and, um, wanted to talk about me, But it was, it’s interesting to think where you get agile insights from and how you might apply some of those to real world work situations.

Christy Erbeck: [04:55]
Well, and the first thing that came to my mind was the concept of comparing teams in velocity. When you talked about the 19 year old and then you and I probably have a few years on that 19 year old. And so can we be expected to, to run and have the endurance, um, at that, you know, with those age comparisons or should we not compare those two teams, um, and yet celebrate the accomplishments and how far each team was able to go and achieve and produce in that same time box?

Dan Neumann: [05:36] I love it. There was, um, they also had team events. So four or five people would run the event, handing off a Baton in between and the winners of the male division, average, five minutes, 40 something, second miles for the entire eight hours. Uh, but there was another team whose shirts, they said, um, old eggs, fast legs, More mature all female team. And, you know, they, they were out there doing their thing and having fun and knocking out miles. And, uh, yeah, so, um, individual goals may vary. And so, yeah, I love the shirt, old eggs, fast legs.

Christy Erbeck: [06:21] That’s fantastic.

Dan Neumann: [06:24] Shifting gears. So the actual topic we were planning to talk about today, you know, I’m going to guess that when this episode releases in a week, we will not be done with dealing with COVID and we as a country, a world are not going to be, uh, recovered. So what we’re exploring today is how to lead in times of crisis and come out of it, a strong, in a position to thrive and much, like I mentioned on the intro, we don’t have all the answers, but we want to share some perspectives and some things people might keep in mind as they do that.

Christy Erbeck: [07:03] Absolutely. I think it’s, it’s so important to actually leverage this time of silence or quietness in that we can use it to reflect and see, where do we want to end up on the other side of COVID or of this recession we’ve we’ve now I guess, officially achieved a recession state within the United States. Um, and, and so now let’s think about, and plan for the other side of that, even if that means that’s, you know, 10 months, eight months, 18 months, regardless of the timeframe of when that is, um, we have an opportunity to start looking for what is the thread that’s going to pull us through to the other side. And when I think about that, I think about first, um, in some ways, selfishly, like you were talking about what do I need to do to take care of me, to make sure that I am fully available to think about these things, to, um, do some research, to ask questions, to be emotionally available to my team who probably needs me more now, um, whether my team is my client or my, the people that report to me, my family, you know, so what am I doing to really take care of myself and make sure that I’ve processed, um, my challenges with all of this change.

Dan Neumann: [08:46]
Yeah, there’s an adage that comes to mind and I don’t know where I may have first heard it or who originated it, but I, I hear it, um, most often on, on the Dave Ramsey show podcasts. So personal financial advice, business, financial advice, you know, you can agree with them or not. It’s fine. That’s not the point of this comment, but his, his statement is the weak can’t help the weak. The strong can help the weak. And to your point, if you’re not taking care of yourself, whether it’s, um, emotionally, financially, um, professionally from learning new things, you’re going to have a hard time helping other people with their struggles and opportunities to, to help people along that curve too. So yeah, if you’re, if you’re showing up in a place of degradation tiredness, um, you know, inability to perform in, in whatever facet, you’re not going to be able to help other people along that, that journey.

Christy Erbeck: [09:43] I think it also helps from a relatability standpoint in that if I’ve taken the time to process, you know, my emotions and I’m, I have understood and have a grasp of what my internal experience is in this process. And I’m struggling with, you know, here’s, here’s my little to do list on my breaks, 50 crunches, 20 squats, what am I needing to do to stay physically active now that I’m sitting more than I’ve ever sat in my entire life and understanding the struggle. So I can come from a place of authenticity when I’m talking to my team members and encouraging them to make sure that they’re doing something to remain active and to walk away from the laptop and the computer, um, and take care of themselves and the struggle of even me being able to do that myself. Right. So all of that plays into, as a leader managing or leading through crisis, um, coming from a place of truth.

Dan Neumann: [10:49] Yeah. I, I, uh, I’ve seen and probably been on the receiving end of, you know, some of those messages, Oh, take care of yourself, but it’s coming from somebody who from outward appearances probably isn’t and they are burning the midnight oil. And so when you look at somebody and the message isn’t consistent with the messenger, you kind of, what are they saying it because it’s supposed to be the right thing to say, are they saying it from a place of actually believing it? So if it’s somebody who is working a sustainable pace and encouraging the rest of the team to also work at a sustainable pace, that’s different than the 70 hour a week gal or guy who is unsaying a work, sustainable pace. But in reality, you know, that the only way to get somewhere in that company is to be unsustainable and to sacrifice physical and or mental health to, to, um, accelerate. So I love that, you know, so taking care of yourself first being, I think being genuine and relatable, um, kind of knowing that people are dealing with those struggles as well.

Christy Erbeck: [11:56] The other thing that’s important is the transparency. So the transparency of where we are at as a team where we are at as a organization, uh, where we are at, in relation to, um, you know, whatever difficult decisions we’ve had to make to survive this up to this point is incredibly important for leaders to be sharing that, that information with as much transparency as possible. Uh, some people would say total transparency is required. Um, my caveat to that would be total transparency based on the person who is hearing the information, their ability to receive it and not be hurt by or injured by the information. So some people we need to peel the onion with how we share certain types of information, other people they want it direct. So understanding your audience in talking to them with that level of transparency, I think is important so that you are caring for the person receiving the information. Does that make sense?

Dan Neumann: [13:08] It does. And, um, so we’re on video. So you could probably, I think I was thinking as you were talking, trying to try to relate it to two different situations I I’ve run into, um, and appreciating that, that you want to, as best one can make sure that the audience is hearing the message that you intended to, uh, it can be hard. You can’t control how people hear it, but you can, um, frame it in such a way that they have a good chance of understanding it. Um, for me, it brought to mind, uh, one of the places I was at subscribed to what’s, um, I don’t know the copyrighted or the trademark phrases, the great game of business and that, uh, the, the man who came up with that, I forget who it was. We can Google it and put it in the show notes, but the goal there is to help everybody in the company clearly know how they, and their role, their behavior, their output affects the bottom line financially. Um, and it’s it advocates strongly for financial transparency, transparency, short of individual salaries. Now I know other, uh, places, uh, typically some smaller companies where I’ve heard of it have gone even to the point of transparency at individual salary levels, because that can tilt against some of the, the bias where, um, you know, women tend to earn less than men for the same job, um, there’s facts and data to back that up. So I don’t think that’s a particularly contentious statement at this point. It’s, uh, a negative condition that hopefully gets resolved. Um, but back to the great game of though, um, there’s a weekly scorecard meeting and it’s here is how we are doing financially, the ups and the downs. And you engage a committee in, um, a rotating committee in that, so that people are learning how the business works and they can connect to it. And, uh, I’m kind of curious how that’s going for this one place I have in mind right now, because it is it’s, it’s tough. And, um, when the message was tough, some behavior changed in unexpected ways and in not very positive ways, but yes, transparency, especially around how difficult decisions get or are made, uh, can go a long ways.

Christy Erbeck: [15:30] No, well, that transparency offers the opportunity for growth within the organization and trust. And, and in crises, we it’s, it’s so easy to point the finger and blame and shame other people for how we got here or for how things are being handled. Um, with transparency, hopefully the intent is to build trust with the leadership, with the employees, with the team members that we are doing our very best in this moment and the, and if any offers you the opportunity to contribute. So if I, if I’m transparent with you and say, Hey, we’re, we’re struggling with this, or we need help with this. Or, um, you know, we see an issue over here, and you have an idea that can help. Then I really hope you’re going to share, use that as an opportunity to share how you think you could help with that idea, with that problem, and therefore build trust by between the two between the groups. Um, it also, I think, builds trust in the, the agile concept of almost the last responsible moment where we’re sharing with you as much as we possibly can. Um, given the situation, given what we know at the time, these are the decisions that we’re making. Um, now let’s, let’s act on those decisions based on that information.

Dan Neumann: [17:18] And that could look like if we end up at this financial marker or milestone, here are the options that are available to us. You know, I was reading an article about some of the financial tools that are available. And I hate to say, I hate to say tools because loans are sometimes it’s like any tool you can pound a nail with it, or you can crush your thumb with it. And so some of those, some of the programs that are available, um, maybe longterm beneficial, they may be, um, they may be delaying the inevitable downside and just masking a true problem. But, um, you know, Hey, when we get to X, Y, or Z, here’s the, what we’re going to do here are the levers we can pull and are looking to, to pull. Um, if companies are in a position where they, uh, have to let people go, is the plan to bring them back, or is the plan to maybe help them with their job search to be somewhere else and just some transparency there. Yeah.

Christy Erbeck: [18:24] And I think that transparency goes hand in hand with the communication. And what we have seen is the need for communication exponentially rises the greater, the, the crisis, um, and that meaningful, uh, intentional communication where it’s very specific about this is what’s happened. This is what we’re doing. This is how it impacts you. This is what we need from you. Um, and that ongoing dialogue between the employee and the leader or the team members is critically important for minimizing. And I’m going to use a Dr. Brené Brown term, the stories that I’m making up, or the story that I’m telling myself, um, that goes on in people’s heads when there is a gap in communication. When there’s a lack of communication. I have found for me personally, in this time, I, I spend more time talking to people and telling them and sharing what I know about what’s going on. Um, every single day, whether that’s in a chat or a mini meeting of, you know, 10, 15 minutes, uh, or in my weekly one on ones with my team members, um, that’s what they want to know. And that’s what they need to know to feel safe and to feel connected to the organization. This is a fabulous opportunity for organizations to connect deeply meaningfully in a relevant way with their employees, um, versus walking away or being silent. That’s the worst thing that we can do in times of crisis.

Dan Neumann: [20:07] When you were kind of getting to, so there’s the transparency part. There’s differing commitment to a path of action. So that last responsible moment, and it also, then there’s a third one for me that came to mind, which was delegating decision-making and, and allowing other people to make decisions within a framework. And so an example for me, we had a pretty interesting insurance related thing that came up for some, uh, healthcare, uh, in our family. And it was a, it was a five figure bill, basically that, um, the hospital was trying to chase us down because it turns out out of network coverage doesn’t actually mean out of network coverage. It means the insurance company can give you the metaphorical middle finger and stick you with, um, you know, things. So we worked through that big one through the insurance, but there was a smaller one. It was only four figures. Um, so it’s still a substantial bill. And I ended up talking to the lady who worked for the anesthesiologist and she’s had, she’s one of like two people in an office that’s usually 20 something people. And at some point she’s like, you know, like, what can we do? Like, how can she doesn’t want to chase it? I don’t want to be chased. There’s kind of that the cost of money, right? Them having something is better than them having nothing and continuing to chase. It helps their cash flow. And so we, uh, she said, Hey, if you can do this, can we, can we settle it now? And I said, I can do that. And, and so we settled it. So instead of the normal, Oh, we would have strung that out for months. So we would have, or other people would have been involved. They risk getting nothing. I risk getting a bad credit score, et cetera, et cetera. Um, it’s a financial game of chicken. It’s how do we then allow people to make decisions that are helpful for the company good for their mental health. And now neither of us have to worry about this stupid situation anymore. Um, and so you’ve got the transparency, a responsible moment to make that decision and somebody who, um, she said, if I called back and she wasn’t there, I would know that she made the wrong decision, but she was also close enough to retirement. I don’t think she actually cared if she was dismissed from that for making what she thought was the right decision. So, um, delegating that decision, making, helping people know what boundaries they can and can’t decide within is also I think, a facet of coming out strong.

Christy Erbeck: [22:45] Absolutely. Absolutely. And that, that example there I think is, is a great example of taking pragmatic action where you are pushing that, that responsibility or that decision making down within a framework to people so that they can take action to support the customer, to maintain the relationship, to, um, move the ball forward. Um, that that’s one example of pragmatic, um, action. What, uh, you know, other examples could be ensuring that you are still meeting and talking about your strategy, it’s that your longer term strategy? So you’ve taken some pragmatic action, most likely to get you through COVID or that this crisis here, but we also have to ensure we’re taking pragmatic action so that our longer term strategy doesn’t fall off the cliff. And we’re not prepared when we come out of this because we will come out of it. So what are you doing in balance for your longterm and your or for your strategic and your tactical, your longterm in your short term strategies that need to be in place to keep you moving forward, to keep you looking for new opportunities? Because what we’ve identified is that this crisis has also opened up worlds of opportunity that we never would have known about previously had it not happened. So how, how do we leverage it? Does it make sense for our organization to leverage that, um, you know, what, what do we want to do and how do we want to position ourselves, uh, on the other side, so that we are attractive to the marketplace so that we are relevant to our customers. What’s happening with our customers. That’s changed how they operate. Do we have a new set of customers that needs our services now because something has changed in their world? And how have we identified that? Are we looking for that? Right. So there’s all types of pragmatic action that can be taken in various aspects of your business, but you have to be willing to make the time to do that and keep those types of activities. Um, in play.

Dan Neumann: [25:06] I think of the, the services industry, especially restaurants, uh, when it comes to that, but of course it can be with software too. And so looking at, uh, what do they sell to whom do they sell it and how do they deliver it? And so I live in Indiana in the United States, and I know our restaurants got the opportunity or the ability they were licensed to actually then begin selling alcohol for takeaway. So instead of just a bag of food, you could buy a, a margarita mixer kit or whatever, and it was everything, everything you needed to go home and make that. So, um, that was kind of the, what they sell, that they shifted to a, how they delivered it as a takeaway or a door dash or a grubhub, or, you know, you name it, and then trying to figure out to whom they might be able to sell these, these things to, they didn’t explore that quite as much, but that would be another facet than regardless of the business. So what do you sell, whom do you sell it to and how do you deliver that service and potentially come out stronger in a good way.

Christy Erbeck: [26:11] Right. And you know, another agile framework, um, is OKRs, objectives and key results. If you haven’t used those before or understand what they are as a means of agile goal setting, um, you know, we’ve got our podcast, but with you and Felipe Castro, but there’s wonderful resources available that can help. And it’s not a simple thing to implement by any means. Um, but the concept of agile goal setting, where you’re looking at a 90-day time period, and what can we accomplish in those 90 days. So what’s the objective. And then what are the measurable key results that we can track our progress on over the next 90 days? That may be a way for you to reorient around, um, a particular customer or market strategy or something like that that could help get you through or set you up for success on the other side of this. And again, OKRs are not easy. They are, you know, similar to the scrum framework. It it’s, it’s simple to understand potentially it’s difficult to execute well.

Dan Neumann: [27:29] Agreed. OKRs are difficult to execute. It made me think of a couple of things related to that. One is really applying an experimental mindset to that. So if we have the objective and the result, what experiments might get conducted in order to prove or disprove the hypothesis, Hey, we have a hypothesis that people will want to take away. Margarita mixes. How do you test that? Well, you know, it costs you a line in your mobile app or a line on your website, and if people order them great, you don’t have to stock up on a thousand kits in order for this to happen. You might have three on hand, and maybe you can turn that into revenue and either validate or invalidate your hypothesis. And there’s an episode with Adam Ulery from probably quite some time ago at this point where we explore an experimental mindset a little bit more, and one way to manage those experiments is using a Kanban board. So maybe you order or prioritize whichever word you want to choose your experiments and conduct an experiment and measure the results, and then do a feedback loop. So you’re getting to done. You don’t have to try a hundred different things and hope one of them were excused that will be chaos, not an experiment. Um, so control some things, pull some levers and have a quick feedback loop because goodness knows it changes so fast these days.

Christy Erbeck: [28:56] Right? Applying that the empirical process control and that that inspection and adaption mindset is, is really important. One of the articles that I was reading from Harvard business review talked about critically, uh, applying, they called it the after action review the AAR, but we, you know, we would say a retrospective or, you know, maybe even can conduct a Kaizen event, uh, so that you can understand what went well, what didn’t go, well, what do we need to change going forward? What did you learn? And then how do we apply that learning so that as we go forward, we’re not making the same mistakes, or we have been able to set into, into motion action or systems or processes that will support us, um, going forward or support a different response the next time this happens. And that can, that type of retrospective can happen throughout the crisis. And then certainly when you get to the other side, a deep introspection or retrospective would be really powerful. Um, as long as the organization took action from that retrospective and made some changes based on what they learned.

Dan Neumann: [30:17]
Yeah. There’s a pretty good chance that at some point we will be beyond the current COVID crisis, but something else unexpected is going to happen. And so how do you become more resilient? So there was the, the, the 2000, uh, the .com bubble exploding, uh, there’s the 2008 housing crisis. Cause gosh, we didn’t realize if we made this series of decisions, the economy would fall over on itself. And now a virus, one of the tiniest, one of the tiniest little things in the world is wreaking havoc at macro conditions. So it’s a pretty good chance we won’t have quite those three same disruptions, but there’ll be a fourth one. And it would be silly to pretend that somebody knows what it’s going to be, because if you know, then it doesn’t become a crisis. You can typically deal with that. Um, there was an article I came across in Forbes by a person named Brian Carson who was talking about, um, you know, having a culture steeped in trust and forgiveness. So that, that makes, uh, that talks about delegating decision-making. And if somebody makes one that didn’t align with what you wanted, having forgiveness for that, and then, and related to that continual planning. And so that fits in with what you’re talking about. The OKRs, and experiments, and just running feedback loops and Kaizen events, retrospectives, whatever framework might be appropriate, you could call them postmortems if you want, although that implies something died. Um, hopefully that is not the case in their business. Um, but some kind of improvement strategy.

Christy Erbeck: [31:58] Yeah. And then I think finally, uh, you know, as we, as we are going through this, reaching out to others to ensure that as a, and I’m speaking from a leadership perspective, uh, make reaching out to others so that you’re not making decisions in a vacuum so that you are leveraging other people’s expertise, whether it’s an author or a podcast or a consultant, or your peers or people in an, in a networking group, wherever you might be able to find a sounding board. Um, even if you, if you want one article said, imagine what the leader you most respect would, do you know, how, how would they handle this situation? And so if that were you, how would, you know, how could you tap into that person’s expertise? Um, you know, thinking again, take, and this is, this is tough for leaders. It’s, I I’ll speak for myself. It’s tough to make the time to reflect and to think, think about that. And yet that’s probably some of the most important work I can do, um, is to gain perspective on this.

Dan Neumann: [33:33] Yeah, leaders are, uh, typically rewarded for their, um, their physical braun and their ability to pound more nails than somebody else on the team is to help improve the overall situation. And I liked that concept of, hey, imagine how your respected leader would work, that sounds like a very valuable thought exercise. And then, uh, two resources that came to mind for me. We had a little, uh, a little coworking venture back in the day. And two, two places we found some ideas and perspective was, uh, the small business administration, uh, again, a U.S-Based government supported thing. Um, but I’m guessing other parts of the world have similar animals. And then something called S.C.O.R.E. It’s an acronym for the Service Corps of Retired Executives. So it is people who have been there, done that, um, no hair or gray hair typically cause they are after all retired executives. And, um, it’s, it’s an opportunity for perspective for what we were doing. It was, um, their perspective was often kind of bigger and sometimes more manufacturing focused on what we were looking for, but you still end up with like different nuggets about how to put together a plan, different facets, to think of different ideas for those channels that who do you sell to? How do you get it to them, those types of things. So obviously there’s the personal relationships and networks people have. Uh, there’s the imaginary one. And then there’s some, some different facilities that are available kind of in the communities.

Christy Erbeck: [35:08] And whether you’re tapping into a professional resource like Gartner, you know, Forcer the Conference Board, there’s, uh, there’s so many organizations that, that can help with that. Even Harvard Business Review. I, I mean, I am, I’ve been reading harvest Harvard business review for probably 25 years. Oh my God, I can’t believe I can even say that, but it’s one of my favorite things to do and okay, I’m a nerd. I am, I mean, I nerd out Harvard business review, but I can, every time I read an article that this, the thought leadership, the, the, just the intelligence and the perspective that these authors have in contributors have, and oftentimes they are people who work in the real world, so they’re not necessary theoretical. Um, you know, I, it, I just expand my thought process expands, um, or my perspective on something. I keep using that word perspective. Yeah.

Dan Neumann: [36:26]
And I’d rather get advice from a nerd that reads than somebody who maybe is very full of themselves with no actual experience and lots of opinions. So all those perspectives and the people who are contributing to those articles, um, at least from what I can tell are doing it either based on somebody else’s research, that they are making more consumable and approachable or based on some anecdotes and battle scars that they have from the real world. So, um, I love it. Yeah, no shame in having consumed HBR for 25 years.

Christy Erbeck: [37:05]
Exactly. I was 10 when I started dating.

Dan Neumann: [37:09]
Yeah. Yeah. You need both. Yeah.

Christy Erbeck: [37:12] Yes. And then I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t, you know, almost close on some references from Dr. Brené Brown and the work that she does around courage and vulnerability. And right now there are there’s wonderful opportunities for leaders to be courageous in showing their vulnerability, in letting their team members know that there’s a lot that they don’t know, and that that’s okay that they are, you know, concerned or that they have some emotions or fears around what’s happening next as well. Um, maybe they’re unsettled in some way. That, that authenticity I’m circling back to what we began with in that authenticity is critically important in leading through a crisis. Um, it’s not about what, you know, it’s about what you’re willing to learn. You know, about yourself, about others, about the organization, about this world that will make a difference in the hearts and minds of your people.

Dan Neumann: [38:16] Well, let’s leave it there. Thank you for taking some time to share today. Christy.

Christy Erbeck: [38:20] Thank you for inviting me again, Dan. I always enjoy our time together.

Dan Neumann: [38:25] We’ll do it again.

Christy Erbeck: [38:26] Sounds good.

Outro: [38:29] This has been the Agile Coaches’ Corner podcast brought to you by AgileThought. The views, opinions and information in this podcast are solely those of the hosts and the guests, and do not necessarily represent those of AgileThought. Get the show notes and other helpful tips from this episode and other episodes at

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