Helen Brophy: The Importance of Guiding Principles – Leading Through Crises

Helen Brophy is Director of University College Dublin (UCD) Smurfit Executive Development at UCD Smurfit Business School. Helen holds  responsibility for the management and strategic development of UCD Smurfit Executive Development, as well as being on the Smurfit School’s Irish Advisory Board. Prior to joining Smurfit, UCD’s graduate business school, Helen spent almost 20 years working in international business roles in the private and public sectors. While Helen leads the Smurfit Executive Development team, she also specialises in programme design and delivers across the programme portfolio in areas of leadership, change management, and organisational effectiveness.  She holds an Executive Masters in Consulting and Coaching for Change from Insead Business School, as well as an MBS from UCD Smurfit School.

Today, Helen joins me to share her story. She shares how the past 18 months have affected how she leads. She shares the three guiding principles that helped her to manage through a crisis and notes the power of team unity. She offers her advice on handling the heavy weight of responsibility, noting that it’s okay not to be okay. She discusses work-home balance and shares how she practices self-care. We discuss the idea of post traumatic growth, noting that we tend to come closer together through adversity. She talks about the power of a sense of humor and the power of social connections.

“[There’s] a real need for empathy, understanding, active listening, and giving people a sense that, you know, what’s going on around us is not okay, but we’re gonna be okay, and we’re gonna get through this together.”

– Helen Brophy

This week on In the Doctor’s Chair

  • The three guiding principles of working through a crisis
  • The power of unity as a team
  • Work-home balance
  • Handling the heavy weight of responsibility
  • Post-traumatic growth and how we come closer together with adversity
  • Creating a psychologically safe culture
  • The power of a sense of humor

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