Lynn Perry Wooten: The Prepared Leader
Lynn Perry Wooten is a seasoned academic and an expert on organizational development and transformation. She became the ninth president of Simmons University on July 1, 2020 and is the first African American to lead the university. Her research specializes in crisis leadership, diversity and inclusion, and positive leadership—organizational behavior that reveals and nurtures the highest level of human potential.
Lynn has also had a robust clinical practice, providing leadership development, education, and training for a wide variety of companies and institutions, from the Kellogg Foundation to Harvard University’s Kennedy School, and to Google. She is the coauthor of Arrive and Thrive: 7 Impactful Practices for Women Navigating Leadership and the coeditor of Positive Organizing in a Global Society: Understanding and Engaging Differences for Capacity Building and Inclusion. She is also the author with Erika James of The Prepared Leader: Emerge from Any Crisis More Resilient Than Before*.
In this conversation, Lynn and I discuss why crises are not isolated events, even through they are often treated that way. We explore the critical nature of trust and how to build it quickly in crisis. We then detail three key areas of trust that will help leaders begin to support a team shift towards better outcomes.
- Crises are not single events. They happen again and again, necessitating leaders preparation for them.
- In normal times, trust is key. In a time of crisis, it’s essential.
- Regular communication is essential in a crisis. Avoid the tendency to downplay risks. In fact, it’s useful to paint a picture of the worst case scenario.
- Leaders need to determine is there is a strong sense of a contractual obligation between them and their teams.
- It’s critical for leaders to assess the competence of their team to be able to respond to the crisis at hand.
- Frequent, high performance meetings are essential during a time of crisis.
- The Prepared Leader: Emerge from Any Crisis More Resilient Than Before* by Lynn Perry Wooten and Erika James
Download my interview notes in PDF format (free membership required).
- How to Lead in Crisis, with Carol Taylor (episode 55)
- How to be Diplomatic, with Susan Rice (episode 456)
- The Way Out of Major Conflict, with Amanda Ripley (episode 529)
- The Starting Point for Inclusive Leadership, with Susan MacKenty Brady (episode 584)
Activate your free membership for full access to the entire library of interviews since 2011, searchable by topic.