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Proactive approach on agenda for the New Normal

'Coach Kriengsak, I want to discuss leadership during this 'New Normal' time," Ton tells me.

"Khun Ton, what prompted you to consider this subject?"

"Coach, the Bangkok bombing last month reminded many of us just how volatile the world can be. As well, do many other things have been happening at the same time; you name it -- political, economic, social and technological. I'm worried that as a CEO, if I don't change, my organisation will not change. Eventually, it will affect the bottom line. I want to prepare myself as much as I can."

"Khun Ton, when you mention leadership, what do you mean by that?"

"Leadership is about creating a dream, translating the dream into a plan, navigating the plan into action. During the execution of the plan, there will be changes and the leader needs to understand change management."

"Khun Ton, could you elaborate more on creating a dream?"

"By creating dream I mean the leader has to have the ability to visualise the future of the organisation in terms of vision, mission, strategy, and core values."

"That's a good start, Khun Ton. In each function, what are the capabilities required?"

"Here's what I think a leader needs to demonstrate in terms of people skills or soft skills:

To create the dream, the leader uses thinking, writing, analysing, asking and listening.

To translate the dream into a plan, the leader uses thinking, writing and speaking.

To navigate the plan into action, the leader uses writing, influencing, inspiring, motivating negotiating and anticipating.

For change management, the leader uses observing, listening, speaking, writing, influencing, motivating, negotiating, problem-solving and decision-making skills."

"Khun Ton, which capabilities do you think you need to apply differently in the New Normal?"

"There are three things that I need to do more: listening, speaking and anticipating."

"Tell me more."

"Sure. Listening more means that I need to spend more time listening to people on the front line. At the moment, most of the listening that I do is in meetings with other executives. That's a total of about 20 people, but my company has 500 people. I need to listen to all of them more."

"How will you do that?"

"I have to start by visiting and meeting people more. But you don't just visit people unless you have an agenda. I think this can be linked to speaking more. Currently, I only speak to the people surrounding me. They understand me more than the people that I don't normally meet. Hence, I will go to visit people at their work stations, in the field, on the front line. Then, I will share with them my views on the New Normal and how we should react."

"What about anticipating?"

"I think we need to form a new full-time task force to do scenario simulations. It would consist of cross-functional talents who are capable of anticipating the future. Many will be from the new generation who have a track record of anticipating the change in their respective areas. This team will meet with me once a week. In the meeting we will simulate the coming week's scenarios in terms of a base case, best case and worst case.

"We did something similar in the past but it was part of the annual event when we do the business plan. By doing it on a weekly basis we will get a fresh perspective from a new generation of talents."

"That's a good plan. What could go wrong?"

"I think that in the first two areas we discussed -- listening and speaking -- things will go as planned with some minor deviations. What could possibly go wrong is the new task force."


"Coach, I'm talking about bringing in five key people from five departments. These are the talents who are the right-hand people of the department heads. The latter might not be comfortable letting their key people work with me full-time. They won't want to lose their best assets to the pool."

"What will you do?"

"I need to communicate with all the department heads who these talents report to. But I need to talk with Khun Tana first. He's very sensitive about these things and if he isn't alerted in advance, he will feel disrespected. Then, I'll call a meeting and inform the rest, together with Khun Tana again."

"What's in it for them?"

"That's a good question, Coach. I'll start by telling them that the New Normal needs a new proactive approach to anticipating change. If we have good anticipation, all of us will be able to lead more effectively. Hence, this is why we have the task force. Then, I'll give them more details."

"That's a good start, Khun Ton. Let's follow up in our next session."

Kriengsak Niratpattanasai provides executive coaching in leadership and diversity management under the brand TheCoach. He can be reached at Daily inspirational quotations can be found on Facebook page: Previous articles are archived at