Super Hero Leadership Development

It’s Time to Shine: Four Risk Management Superpowers that Really Matter Now

It isn’t always easy for us Risk Management professionals to have a voice within our organizations. We can’t take it personally. We’ve been pigeon-holed in a box associated with organizational expenses (like claims or insurance). Now, during this crisis, we have the superpowers to change this paradigm. We can shift from being perceived as an expense to be managed, to be an asset to be leveraged. As risk goes, the current crisis won’t change our instincts. But how can we leverage them? We have what it takes to be a strategic partner propelling our organization forward.

Leverage these four superpowers now:

Superpower #1 – Cut through Complexity: Be the Source of Timely, Concise Information

You work in an environment of change.  Whether it be legislative, regulatory, court decisions, your brain is programmed to deal with multi-variable decision making. COVID-19 will impact the landscape relative to issues like healthcare payments, employee rights and benefits, and government assistance.  Now is the time to use your resources (insurance brokers, attorneys, peers, etc.)  to gather information and interpretations.

Step forward in your organization to share what you know and use your knowledge of the organization to make sense of it. If your company has in-house government affairs or legal, they are your partners in this effort.  There is a lot to do, as Congress passes significant legislative packages that requires analysis of benefits for the organization that could preserve the workforce and be ready for the economy when it reopens.  Being the source of timely and concise information helps other leaders think more broadly.

Superpower #2 – Mitigation Mindset: Partner for Preparedness

Risk managers’ brains are programed to think in terms of what events are likely to happen, and if the exposure isn’t positive, support innovations that will lessen the blow. You’re wired because of training and experience to constantly think about mitigation and backup plans which go beyond insurance buying and claims management.

As risk goes, the current crisis doesn’t change your instincts. You naturally think about where the economy will land and how long will it take to bounce back. You ask questions of yourself about how your customers will act in the new economy and how that behavior will impact the organization?

Now is the time to leverage your instincts and skills and partner with other leaders. Focus on the values most important to you and your organization, and what your organization does best. From there, help your colleagues remain open to all the possibilities in front of them. Keep in mind that the other side of the risk coin is opportunity.

Superpower #3 – Futuristic Thinker: Approach the Future Prepared for Change

Help your colleagues take a deep breath and step back. Help them clear their minds of existing processes and imagine what the post-pandemic world will be. How will people think differently in the ‘new future’ and what can we do now to prepare? Help them look around the corner to anticipate the different ways people will work, shop, communicate, travel, and view their health. Use your risk management instincts and help define decisions are needed today to deal with the current situation, and how to approach the future prepared for change.

Superpower #4 – Inspire and Engage: Bring out the Genius in Others

Your value lies in your perspective, experience, and expertise which are assets to be shared. You know how to use your smarts to amplify the smarts and capabilities of the people around you. You have the ability to listen and engage with others. You’ve built a team of rock stars who also have Risk Management brains. Talk with them daily, first to check in on their wellbeing, then to discover what they think. An important key to getting great insight is to ask lots of questions before you share your perspective. By doing this you get a broader range of fresh, creative thoughts.

And Remember:

Dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is frightening, and a people are struggling in many ways. Do your best to find the opportunity within the struggle. Times like this are why leaders exist. In order to lead, you must take care of your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional self. Every day be sure to spend time away from work doing something you enjoy, include some form of movement, get enough sleep, spend time centering yourself, and connect with people you love. This is a time we will always remember. Be the person and the leader that you will reflect upon with pride.

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