Has Covid 19 changed the nature of leadership? –Thu Jan 07 2021. 4 min read
No country, continent, or company remains untouched by the global Covid pandemic. It has affected literally every aspect of our lives, from how we work to how we socialize. It’s tempting to think that when the worst is over, we’ll go “back to normal.” But the reality is, this is our normal for now, and in order to be effective, business leaders need to respond proactively.
But what will this look like? Boston Consulting Group summarizes it neatly on their website: “For leaders, the challenge of guiding people through uncertainty and into the new reality brings timeless needs into sharper focus. Empathy and flexibility are important leadership qualities at any time. When employees experience sudden and radical change—such as the need to work remotely or in highly restricted workspaces for an extended period—these qualities are even more essential in order to keep teams cohesive, engaged, and motivated.”
Workplace flexibility is more important than ever, and the leaders and workers who will succeed will be the ones who can “roll with the punches” and adapt to the current situation. Employees need to see leadership that’s invested in how their employees are doing. Empathy truly is an essential quality. According to BCG, “Many companies that had not previously found good solutions to the challenge of a dispersed workforce now have a much greater incentive to do so. The challenge for leaders in the new now is to give direction, provide autonomy, and focus on outcomes rather than activities—especially as work continues to become more flexible and distributed.”
The crisis isn’t over yet, and the lessons we learn while it’s ongoing will remain with us for years to come. Flexibility, adaptability, empathy – these are all essential leadership qualities that will help us get more comfortable with the “new now.”