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Wundamail Voices: The Future of Work with Keith Corbin

August 27, 2020

Workplace Culture, Wundamail Voices

Today's Wundamail Voices comes from CEO of Keith Corbin Coaching and Director of Product Management at Toast, Keith Corbin. We caught up with Keith to discuss his predictions for the future, and how we can be more empathetic post-crisis.
What do you think the future of work looks like post-crisis?
In many ways, the current crisis has made us all aware of how volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) the world is. The current realities of this crisis will end, but the lessons learned will be critical for the future. The global dangers of climate change and wealth inequality are growing. We will continue to remain in a VUCA world, and new crises will emerge. I am hopeful.
This crisis will push organizations and individuals to be more compassionate. For organizations, this could mean more flexibility for employees, better wages for those in entry-level jobs, and greater awareness of their ecological and societal impact. For employees, it could be taking more responsibility for the impact we create, finding connectedness with others, and finding ways to integrate work and life better. Things will change when this is over. What comes next is up to us.
How should managers/leaders prepare for the future?
Leaders will need to continue to grow. We all have in our hearts the capacity to be great leaders. Often our habits, fears, and insecurities obscure this light of leadership. As we prepare for the future, leaders will need to be more present and do the work to transcend those obscurations. We will need to move towards a more compassionate form of leadership.
As Robert Greenleaf wrote, our most significant responsibility is to help our employees "become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become leaders." We must evolve our mindsets to understand complexity, see the systems that are at play, and understand our role in those systems. It is not easy. If you can, get a coach to support you on this journey.
What have you learned from the crisis? How will you be applying these lessons going forward?
This crisis has taught me a lot about simplifying life. It has caused me to think through what is essential to be able to thrive. Not having to commute, having more time in the morning to exercise and meditate, and spending more time with my wife have been great gifts. At the same time, this has made me aware of how fortunate and privileged I am. I am trying to do more to help others. I have offered pro-bono coaching, increased my donations to charities, and I continue to look for other ways to give back.
Do you have any tips for kickstarting and managing your team when you return to the office?
I think each situation will be different for every company and every employee. Some will want to be in the office every day, some may not want to come back, and others will be looking for a balance. I would urge everyone to be empathetic and find ways of operating that are inclusive of the needs of individuals.
If you would like us to include short bio, write it here.
Keith is an Engineering and Product leader with over 20 years of experience in developing products across multiple industries. His focus on strategic partnerships has led him to partner with the biggest tech companies globally. As an ICF Certified professional leadership coach, he combines this experience with a focus on emotional courage, presence, somatic practices, and adult development to help leaders evolve.
You can find Keith at:
Twitter: @kjcorbin

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