Dana Brownlee writes a very brilliant article for Forbes on traits that are absolutely essential post COVID – 19. She puts forth the argument that the changes that we have experienced as a result of the pandemic makes it necessary that leaders must also change in this new era.
It is a strong point considering the fact that COVID – 19 has brought about a new normal. With a new way of doing things, leadership must also change to provide proper guidance in these times.
According to her: If there is one great lesson learnt from the pandemic experience is that leadership is key.
A great leader runs more than a successful business, they are charismatic examples of their company’s culture and vision.
Throughout the course of the outbreak, we have seen exemplary leadership traits that have made a lot of difference on the impact of the challenges we have all experienced. These leadership traits/qualities are worth emulating even in the workplace.
Dana Brownlee, a keynote speaker, senior contributor at Forbes, author and project management evangelist, puts forth some of these leadership traits:
According to her, “Ever since the pandemic began, there hasn’t been much that I could count on consistently, but for several weeks, I developed a habit of stopping for a few minutes around noon to listen to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s daily, fact-filled style of COVID-19 briefings. Governor Cuomo has garnered praise for these briefings where he methodically provides fact-based updates then responds to a wide range of journalists’ questions with the support of his team of experts and clearly competent staff.”
It is with worth mentioning that Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has also demonstrated good communication skills in the midst of this crisis.
The takeaway for leaders in organizations is that having consistent, reliable fact-based communications will remain a key ingredient for bringing organizations together and reducing workplace anxiety.
She continues – One of the takeaways of the pandemic has been the unintended remote working experiment for many organizations. This has not only reduced costs but has created greater efficiency by developing and supporting a more extensive virtual working infrastructure. Furthermore, as many workers have now grown accustomed to eliminating their commute or spending additional quality time with family, teleworking expectations will likely increase.
Managing hybrid teams doesn’t just require changes in facilities, but also a shift in mindset and even day to day operations. Project Management Institute President and CEO Sunil Prashara warn that virtual/hybrid teams require a different style of leadership. “If you just sit back and don’t bring your virtual teams together regularly, workstreams will fall apart,” warns Prashara.
Therefore, endeavours to always bring your virtual teams together regularly.
According to her, weeks before different countries began to shut down, most leaders couldn’t have imagined such drastic widespread action.
Faced with unprecedented uncertainty, leaders will need to avoid the temptation to “stick with a decision” in an attempt to appear decisive and instead be willing to regularly review new data, information and feedback and change course if necessary. For leaders not to react to a crisis immediately, there could be drastic consequences for the viability of their business if not the health of their staff.
So, regularly review new data, feedbacks in this dynamic season to enable you to make the right decisions for your business.
Growing up, my mother repeatedly told me “Pride goes before a fall.”
Dana Brownlee writes that leaders, unfortunately, are often expected to know it all and make perfect decisions, and the obvious truth is that they’re just as human and fallible as anyone else. In these unchartered waters, one of the biggest mistakes leaders can make is pretending they know more than they do or making decisions relying only on their instinct or previous experience.
Humility is indeed a huge asset. It takes a strong leader to respond to a difficult question with “I don’t know, but I’ll find out” or step aside from the podium and allow an expert to field most of the questions, but as this pandemic continues to unfold, that may be just what’s required in organizations. A leader must be humble to admit he/she doesn’t have all the answers and submit to those with better understanding and skill. Ultimately the final decision rests with the leader but it should be only after a thorough evaluation of expert opinions.
There is a difference between a Boss and a Leader. One difference is that a leader has a listening ear. There is a difference between listening and waiting to talk and for many leaders, their ability to shift gears into “listening to understand” versus “listening to respond” will be a key ingredient for their success.
Having your ears on the ground is, in my opinion, one of the best quality a leader can possess. Dana says, indeed, this may be one of those rare situations where hierarchy matters less and mass opinion could actually dictate the next steps for the organization. While leaders debate the appropriate timing to open schools and businesses, others point out that customers and parents might be the real decision-makers.
Similar questions loom in the business arena. Can the business reopen in the traditional sense if workers or customers don’t feel safe and simply refuse to come? The decision about reopening is just one of many that are best made when the leader has his/her ear to the ground and is well aware of staff concerns, priorities and ideas.
Whilst, making hard decisions and stepping on toes along the way, making well-informed decisions will be key.
For the full article head over to: https://bit.ly/30QolPZ