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  • Penny Clark-Hall

Wouldn’t it be nice…

As well-intentioned as we are, we’re imperfect beings. We declare our best intentions of who we aspire to be, but when the s*** hits the fan the handbook gets thrown out the window. We retreat as our fight or flight mode overpowers our best intentions just when we needed them the most.

While it feels uncomfortable (as anything worth doing often does) we need to resist ‘fight or flight’ mode in times of crisis or when challenged. Why? Well, our fear and ego live there and our fear and ego is our social licence’s worst enemy. Fear and ego prevent us from being open, honest, genuine, mature and empathetic. It inhibits our EQ, perspective and ability to be brave enough to listen and engage.


My mission is to change business culture by empowering people to be their best selves, not only in the good but in the hard times.


When the chips are down, cutting corners or retreating to our comfort zone achieves nothing in the long term. A business that thinks short-term is chasing the drain. Keep your head above the pulpit, looking at the horizon, and don’t lose sight of who you are. In a mud-slinging match - if you hold tight to the bigger picture (your why) and your values, they will guide you through the stormy waters.


The quickest way to test your metal is how you behave in a crisis or challenging times. If you aren’t consistent then, then the trust you’ve earned with your stakeholders, the most valuable resource a business will ever have, will be lost.

Wouldn’t it be nice if this all came naturally? It’s actually quite hard to be good in a crisis. This stuff is learned behaviour. Give your leadership team and staff the opportunity to practice identifying their natural instincts and thumb their nose at them. Empower and challenge them by practicing scenarios where their fear and ego want to take over and swap them with humility and empathy.

Humility and empathy are great tools to broaden perspectives and train the brain to look beyond survival mode.


Regardless of who’s at fault, we should never forget our humanity comes first - and that trumps fight or flight mode every time. The only way businesses can earn trust and retain their social licence in these situations is to keep their humanity at the fore and remove the corporate walls so they can connect.

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© 2019 by Penny Clark-Hall of Social Licence Consulting. All rights reserved.

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