|Date:||Jul 20 2020|
The global pandemic, a ‘black swan’ event if there has ever been one, has irrevocably changed not only our external world but also our internal world. The safe spaces and safety nets that we could retreat into or cushion our fall have all but disappeared. Our primal instincts of fight or flight are hijacking our rational and reasoned thinking. Our brains are conflicted between sticking with habits and behavior that we are used to and the new responses that are required today. How will this play out when it comes to leadership development in the coming days and years? As an Executive Coach, this subject is of special interest to me and hence, I decided to look for emerging data and new research on what today’s leaders thought would be the skills and behavior they would need to adopt to flourish in the new world.
My first task was to do a dip stick within my networks to understand the sentiment on the ground. I started with a series of polls within business communities as well as industry leadership groups. My quest was to determine how, if at all, the leadership perspective has shifted and the new priorities. The results showed that there was a marked shift in leadership focus; from steering business results to managing cash flows and costs; from developing human capital to enhancing employee security and wellbeing; from strategic objectives to maintaining business continuity. This was not surprising and an expected outcome. The findings were also corroborated through my chats with clients and colleagues.
Next, I delved into what new surveys and global research findings were suggesting. The Willis Towers Watson report for instance suggests that crisis handling and change management are the critical factors requiring attention from leaders. The World Economic Forum report looks at 6 intelligences including Contextual, Moral, Emotional, Generative, Technological and Transformative intelligences as a framework for leadership. Other research data seem to suggest that decision making is now more instinctual rather than reasoned and creative thinking is taking precedence over critical thinking.
Putting all this together, I’ve come up with 5 new core skills/behaviours that leaders have to develop or strengthen in the days ahead in order to not only deal with the present challenges but also in order to create the eco-system to withstand and rive in the fallout of this pandemic in the years to come. These 5 core skills/behaviours are:
I believe that leaders of today and tomorrow need to recognize that the world has changed perhaps for ever and that what worked for them yesterday would not do so today. a mindset shift has to take place all around starting with people in leadership positions, a mindset that moves away from “business as usual” and towards “business that works” in the new paradigm. Leaders have to align their way of working with the business imperatives as well as employee expectations of how their lives and careers are going to be affected by what’s happening around us.
Shivakumar-Coach, Potential Max
May 10 2020
Leadership is being put through the crucible of character as never before by the ongoing global pandemic. The way leaders are reacting and responding to the crisis has been a study in the fine art of leadership
Joanne Goveas- Rotman School of Management
Sep 16 2016
“Be curious, be lazy, be often,” says Michael Bungay Stanier, one of the world’s top three leadership coaches.