Barefoot in the Boardroom – Shara Hutchinson
Barefoot in the Boardroom is a book written by Shara Hutchinson, published in August 2, 2022. It is a guide for business professionals on how to expand their leadership skills and optimize their talents.
The book provides techniques and methods on how to assess one’s leadership capacity , create change and transformation, lead with authenticity, and develop a successful career.
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Introduction and Premise of Barefoot in the Boardroom
Within Barefoot in the Boardroom, business leaders will find a vast array of proven techniques and strategies to apply.
The author introduces her “Exposeyour™” Leadership Capacity approach, which includes the nine leadership competencies needed to develop a high-performing team, while her encouragement of vision teaches leaders how to align their business strategy with their team, ensuring that they have the right people in the right seats to get the right results.
She also introduces the “Barefoot Method™”, which is her signature change management strategy that can be applied to any organization, team, or department to ensure it is future-proofed.
Time for a change
No leader with an audacious vision builds a company with the intent of only surviving for a few years. The objective is to keep growing and reach the heights of success over time and have a future. For that, a plan and having the right leaders in the right positions is necessary.
Change is the leading force in the corporate world that decides the decline or rise of a company, so get comfortable with it and get ready to take your shoes off!
Organizational success and survival are highly reliant on the capacity to manage and adapt to change. As a result, businesses must establish a long-term strategy beyond prior techniques, approaches, and quick fixes.
This entails planning for the future, looking beyond the confines of the internal business environment, and considering the entire industrial ecosystem in which the company operates.
Your next level
You cannot take your team to the next level if you haven’t identified the next level. Likewise, you can’t identify the next level for your organization or department’s vision of success if you haven’t exposed the next level for yourself.
There is always another level to everything, including your leadership. Leadership is about getting people to appreciate and invest in your mission. Working with and managing your team to accomplish your goals is all about maintenance and seeing that things happen as they should every day. Both are necessary, but only leadership will take you to the next level.
Get exposed to new ideas
Exposure to new environments and situations has a lot to do with growth. Sometimes exposure is unintentional and we experience it whether we want to or not. Yet, intentional learning is more critical for the development of a leader.
This means it is necessary for leaders to knowingly introduce themselves to diverse situations and conditions, learn new things, and polish their abilities.
A leader must prepare and have the skills needed to improve their organization in order to escape a demise. They need to know how things work in a particular context to learn new things, bring up their game, and make adaptive plans for potential shifts in the future.
To learn how various environments act, however, a leader must first introduce themselves to these environments.
Take your shoes off
Significant results within your organization require a team effort, making it necessary also to develop your team. You must start by knowing your team members to coach them to success. It requires understanding their personalities, work styles, strengths, weaknesses, needs, and wants.
A diverse group is becoming a business necessity instead of an ethical banner that companies hold to show their commitment to embracing and valuing difference and change. As leaders, we have an inspiring vision, a comprehensive and strategic plan, and we know the results we want to achieve.
However, we often overlook the necessity to develop a strategy for the most important asset: the people who will ultimately make it happen.
The customer experience
For any business, customers are important stakeholders. Everything from planning to the execution of a product or service is about satisfying the end-users. Over time, the preferences and choices of end-users change, so a business must innovate its customer services along with other business innovations.
The future of the customer experience and the future of your business are intimately intertwined. If your customers are not happy, they will not be customers for long. As a result, you won’t be in business for long.
There is a continual variation in what clients want and expect. Ultimately, companies that do not conform to delivering a higher level of customer service endanger their future.
The BAREFOOT Method™
Every organization has its own predetermined path, better known as best practices and processes. If you are determined to succeed, you must be committed to a culture of innovation and constantly challenge the “this is how we’ve always done it” mindset.
The BAREFOOT Method™ is an acronym of eight letters. It comprises proven strategies and tactics to achieve exceptional results.
Each word of this acronym explains a step to effectively lead your team through change and demonstrate the heroic measures that the world’s greatest leaders utilize to reach the next level.
The BAREFOOT Method™ Revealed
B – Break: Corporate transformation may be difficult to achieve, as many businesses are learning.
A – Assess: Assessments are necessary for a business to examine and analyze where it is today and where it wants to go in the future.
R – Reposition: When you ask a business owner what their secret to success is, you will almost always hear something about the people that work with them.
E – Execute: Starting with the first step and then assessing many elements, the plan will become evident—you’ll see the whole image of what you have and require at this time.
F – Follow-Up: Follow-up is the next important step. To keep an eye on the “pulse” of your major projects and the company as a whole, you’ll need to plan recurring meetings.
O – Operationalize: You have identified goals, created a thorough action plan to meet them, and established the accountability framework. Now it is critical that you operationalize your plan.
O – Opportunities: Many individuals are apprehensive about change.
T – Timeline: Whenever I am on a long road trip, I always have two questions: Are we delayed? What time will we arrive?
Change management is crucial for successful transformation in a company. Effective change management allows employees to understand and adapt to change while maintaining efficiency.
It’s important to be a courageous leader who takes unconventional actions to achieve audacious goals. Continual analysis, data collection, and training are necessary throughout and after the change process. Combining the BAREFOOT Method™ with other methodologies may be necessary for large-scale changes.
Trust the process
When the dream you have is big enough to ensure your organization has longevity and your team scales to meet the demand, there will be times along the journey when you will wonder when you’ll see tangible results.
Change takes time, even when you have the right team in place and all the right tools. It is possible to have a fully functioning organizational structure and still need intervention. When you feel discouraged, if you determine that you still want the result, you will achieve it as long as you keep taking steps in that direction. Trust the process.