LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM PANDEMIC
COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Globally, a majority of the workforce is working from home and nowadays that is the ‘new normal’. Economies are changing rapidly. Markets are shifting by the hour. The majority of business houses are browsing a huge downturn. Many business houses are making efforts to salvage things and are being diligent in rapid resource allocation. Consequently, business leaders and executives are pushed into a dark arena they know little about. As leaders, however, they’re expected to maneuver ahead with the days and affect the uncertainty to gauge things, evolve with it and make decisions, putting aside their own fears. It is during these critical circumstances that they’re required to return up with novel strategies.
Four key skills that leaders got to acquire to emerge out of a crisis successfully:
- Seize the opportunity:
One of the foremost common characteristics of leaders who struggle during crises is an overreliance on processes. During such extraordinary circumstances, leaders got to exit the processes-based rigmarole and seize the chance to steer their teams. Leaders who cannot work around weekly meetings, annual budgeting, and deciding processes then on will find it difficult to hold on. Exceptional leaders listen and sense the moments that have the most important impact. People need direction and which is where the role of a pacesetter becomes crucial in making the proper decisions in times like these.
Empathy is one of the foremost skills that a pacesetter should possess and is even more crucial in times of crisis. The outbreak of COVID-19 has set in motion a period of slow growth. Layoffs, delayed projects and price cuts have become a worldwide pattern. With remote working, the workforce is juggling multiple roles- that of oldsters to young children, caregivers to elderly reception and of community members supporting one another in rough times. The level of exhaustion is of course far more as workers are constantly aged and off virtual meetings. The fatigue of home and work melding together is slowly taking a toll. Empathetic leaders are going to be ready to handle team members with understanding and sensitivity. For performing from home to be sustainable, leaders have to set the specified boundaries like communicating on a fast call rather than a videoconference, fixing office hours for specific groups, sharing recommendations on time management, and establishing that it’s understandable if emails aren’t being answered after a particular hour.
- Leadership Maturity:
Emotionally mature leaders embark upon a path of holistic development from early. It is a path of simultaneous growth, where a pacesetter continues to grow on their own, becomes a task model for others, and simultaneously handles crises at work. Leaders got to have that growth mindset, which is actually a few willingness to form mistakes and learn from them, A true leader is one who not only notices when someone makes an error but is additionally there for them, asking all the proper questions and discussing viable options to rectify the error in an effort to develop better decision processes. Being empathetic towards others may be a sign of emotional and leadership maturity.
- Purposeful Leadership:
Effective leadership is having the ability to ascertain connections and interdependencies. Being able to ascertain the larger picture enables leaders to require sharp decisions with minimal repercussions.
Post a crisis, leaders tend to see it in two ways, either as a short-lived disruption or a fundamental change to the way they thought and led. This frame of mind impacts the way leaders affect the longer term. For example, leaders who struggled attended to think in terms of classic planning processes, taking current trends and projecting them forward to make an idea. But when the future has numerous diverse and difficult possibilities, the accuracy of predictions is severely compromised. Successful leaders took a different approach. Instead of watching current trends, they envisioned future scenarios and looked back. They searched for ‘weak’ signals within the market and imagined the various ways during which they might evolve. These leaders then adopted specific courses of action with these in mind, constantly adjusting their picture as new data emerged.
The leaders are also upskilling themselves and have recognized the need to train the employees with the best MBA colleges and business skill sets.
In a volatile and dynamic world, be ready for change. Always check out it as a chance to find out instead of resisting it.
Assistant Professor, RDIAS