Today’s modern business landscape requires heightened leadership skills, now more than ever as the world embarks on the post-covid recovery journey. In the past year, the business environment and workforce have evolved and will continue to do so, this means that leaders must also be in a constant state of self-awareness and improvement.
The new normal represents an era where change is the only constant, a period that requires leaders to constantly reinvent themselves and adapt to a changing business environment. Business leaders must therefore suit up for the new normal; the next normal; the post-pandemic recovery period.
The year 2020 proved to be a resilience and stress test for businesses, business leaders, and employees alike. After more than a year of dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is slowly opening and returning to some semblance of ‘normalcy’. What Next? What will the post-covid-recovery period look like? How do I effectively move my business into the post covid recovery phase? What do I need to implement in my business to survive in a post-covid world? These are some of the questions that many business leaders asked themselves as the curtains came down in 2020.
This article highlights six strategic leadership imperatives for leaders beyond 2020.
Build Trust from the Top and Bottom. Lack of trust in an organization greatly impacts two key areas: employee productivity and employee engagement. Thus, it is important to create an environment and culture of trust among employees and management. Remember trust goes both ways!
Accountability. Accountability is the most important pillar for any team and organization. Leaders can entrench a culture of accountability in their teams and employees by ensuring that everyone embraces the guiding principles, behavioral expectations and abides by clearly defined accountability mechanisms.
Balancing Centralized and Decentralized Controls. Decision-making and leadership can either be centralized or decentralized. It is important as a leader to balance these controls, know when to apply either. Centralized decisions support long-term goals, solidarity, and consistency. But when the speed of execution is required, decentralized decisions make more sense since it allows for autonomy and increases engagement.
Coaching and Mentoring. Today’s leaders must have the ability to lead because it reflects directly on the team’s level of engagement. Managers and leaders to continuously develop their leadership, coaching, and mentoring skills. Through coaching and mentoring, leaders can help their teams focus on developing those capabilities that will contribute most to both individual and organizational success.
Versatile Communication. Communication is a crucial part of leadership as it creates a relationship with your team and heightens your level of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, relationship management, and social awareness. By understanding your team’s social styles, leaders can recognize everyone’s communication preference allowing them to adapt to others leading to improved communication and relationships. Versatile communication is the key to improved employee performance.
Adapting to change. The covid-19 pandemic has redefined the definition of business adaptation; it gave businesses no option but to adapt. A good leader must be able to lead the team to adapt to situations. Everyone in the team understands why the change is happening and there is buy-in as this eliminates confusion and chaos. It will also increase engagement and action.
A leader touches and shapes every aspect of organizational life; from setting the tone, building and instilling the culture, defining direction, managing resources, execution, and so on. Leadership is the key force behind successful organizations. Leadership is changing and will only continue to change beyond the pandemic, leaders must take up the challenge to keep reinventing themselves for the present and future.
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Article by Juliet Hinga
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