Floyd Woodrow: Leadership tips for a truly resilient business

If you want to know how resilient a business is, how they’re doing in the current climate should give you a good gauge. Performing well in unchallenging times can be a bit like taking a rowing boat out on still waters - but what happens when a storm hits? If you’re only prepared for fair weather, how do you survive? And what does true resilience look like?

Former Special Forces soldier and Vistage speaker, Floyd Woodrow, believes business resilience begins with personal resilience. His recent Vistage webinar gives business leaders the tools they need to become “warriors” by cultivating psychological and organisational resilience. We caught up with Floyd to get a little taste of what you can expect from the recording…

The start point and the North Star

If you’re using a map to get somewhere, you need to know your start location. This is the idea at the core of Floyd’s principles: know where you’re starting and what you’re starting with before moving towards your objectives.

“The start point is about recognising where you are today”, Floyd explains. “What super strengths do you have? These are all the things that motivate us, the things we’re good at. It’s also about recognising where you are as an organisation - the products you have, how you operate”.

Once you have your start point, you need to determine your “super North Star”, as Floyd illuminates. “How do you want to operate going forward? This is your super North Star; it takes you forward”.

The importance of being empathetic

While great leadership is often about robust decision-making, it shouldn’t come at the cost of human empathy. Floyd is unequivocal about the importance of empathy and emotional intelligence when it comes to developing personal and organisational resilience: 

“You need to understand where people are - that’s sensitivity and empathy. You need to look at decisions from an emotionally intelligent perspective in order to understand where people are, how to connect with them, how to communicate with them. You need to make them feel safe and help them to be the best versions of themselves. For me, it’s about giving leaders the right tools to do this.”

Floyd goes on to explain why having these tools is particularly pertinent right now:

“It’s difficult for leaders in this changing world - a world that’s transforming technologically, economically, socially, politically, environmentally. It’s tough to make the appropriate decisions. These tools enable a leader to be consistently good as an individual, as a team, as an organisation.”

The four key performance principles

One of the areas Floyd’s Vistage webinar covers is the four key performance principles, or ‘pillars’, which are often used in successful organisations. Floyd believes these four principles play a big part in building true resilience into your organisation.

The four pillars are:

  • Awareness
  • Presence
  • Strategic decision-making
  • The ability to make decisions

“Making decisions is about understanding your risk profile but also understanding that you need the right strategies within your armoury to stand by those decisions when they’re under pressure”, Floyd explains. “That’s when you need the skills - the people with the right skills understand how to deal with the emotions that come with being under pressure.”

Speaking to Floyd, there is a clear, consistent thread running through everything he says: the importance of empathy, communication, and taking everyone with you. As he says: “You cannot over-communicate. If I walked into most businesses and asked them: ‘Is everyone on the same page? Is everyone aligned behind the super North Star?’ it would be very rare to find an organisation that could say yes. That is usually down to miscommunication or not communicating enough. Most leaders probably do know where they want to be, but they fail to take people with them.”

Floyd believes personal and team responsibility are key to achieving your goals. His webinar promises to equip leaders with all the tools and skills they need to make better decisions, and to develop deep resilience:

“My framework offers simple tools that I’ve taught to everyone from five-year-old children to ambassadors and every sector in between. It complements all the things you already know and gives you a system that will create consistency and the ability to perform at an elite level.”

Decision factors download

See Floyd in action in our ‘Leading in Challenging Times’ webinar series.


Image: nirutft via Adobe stock

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