A new leadership agenda?
The dawn of a New Year comes with a number of familiar markers – the resolutions that may be kept, or not, and the predicted trends or hot topics that leaders will be focusing on. This year followed the pattern.
Then the pandemic hit, bringing to a halt normal events. And now we know that normal and usual no longer apply. Resuming business as it usually was won’t be possible in a world so radically changed. So, what does that put on the list of leadership hot topics now? Well we can draw much from how we’ve navigated these past few months.
We will have learned a great deal about ourselves, our people and our organisations in this pandemic, as well as having to learn new ways of doing things very quickly. Maintaining this openness to learning and continuing to learn needs to be prioritised going forward. So that we foster a mind-set that sees every situation as an opportunity for learning (not just in formal training sessions). And, so that we have the capability to embrace, adapt to and make the most of the opportunities persistent uncertainty will continue to generate.
Crises strip away all but the most pressing priorities. We have to focus on what’s really important to make it through to the other side in any kind of shape. When the heat and urgency start to subside, though, it is essential we identify and maintain focus on those things that really matter…those with the most positive impact. Perhaps there are some old practices and processes we really can do without and likely some new ones we must embed in the organisation and the way we do things.
Relationships underpin all aspects of our lives. In work that’s between boss and subordinate, colleague to colleague, employee to employer. Good relationships ensure people flourish, collaboration is fostered, and teams and organisations perform at a high level. Social isolation has perhaps reminded us we are social animals and shown us how much we value our connection and interaction with our colleagues. So we need to up our investment in relationship – further developing our emotional intelligence, focusing on extending and building trust, and spending more time on communicating personally rather than via a keyboard.
There may be other topics you would add to this list but for me really focusing on these three would help us shift the dial on our leadership in the world that’s emerging.
We will be exploring all these topics and more in our forthcoming webinar ‘Impossible to Possible – creating a new cultural norm’ (take-the-leadership-leap) where we are looking at how to capture the human and organisational ability to move mountains in a crisis and embed it in our workplace culture.