Summary of Leadership Through COVID-19 and Beyond

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Leadership Through COVID-19 and Beyond book summary

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  • Analytical
  • Applicable
  • Concrete Examples


This manual by Helen Battersby and Anne Stenbom offers a few additions to their 2019 work, The Discovery Prism, and sets up a framework for leading in crisis and managing change. The metaphoric prism has three “lenses” – “purpose and core values” (why and how), “mission and stakeholders” (what and who), and “vision” (where and when). The lenses’ intersection reveals your company’s “promises, strategy and legacy.” The prism’s energy helps firms become resilient and sustainable amid transformational change. And, the authors hint tantalizingly, they’ll also be stronger in the face of challenges like the coronavirus.  While the authors’ advice is sound, note that they wrote the bulk of the book prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

About the Authors

Anne Stenbom and Helen Battersby co-founded Global Business Leaders, a leadership development firm. They are also the authors of The Discovery Prism.


The Discovery Prism is a framework that answers the question: “Who do we serve and why?”

With all the challenges COVID-19 poses, it threatens the “way things are done.” This may make the world more Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) than ever before, but your organization can transform how it handles itself by embracing “Vision, Understanding, Clarity” and “Agility,” instead.

A framework’s job is to break complexity down into “manageable components,” to build a system that articulates the parts and the whole. The Discovery Prism framework shows three overlapping “lenses” that form a triangle:

  1. “Bigger purpose and core values” – This lens defines why you exist and how your people can unite to work together.
  2. “Mission” and “stakeholders” – Your mission is what you do and for what purpose. Your stakeholders are those you serve.
  3. Vision – You need a clear vision to know where you want to go and when you will get there. 

The edges where these lenses overlap create three more zones:

  1. “Promises” What you...

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