In the past couple of weeks we’ve heard very promising news about the vaccines designed to combat COVID-19. Even though we are in the midst of a wave of new infections, we are beginning to see glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel. The creation of multiple new vaccines in less than 12 months represents a breakthrough in medical science. One that will surely serve us extremely well in the future. These breakthroughs required different thinking and role modeling a specific set of leadership behaviors.
When the pandemic does begin to recede and start to diminish in our memories, I hope we don’t forget these leadership behaviors. Hard times bring out the best in some people and I’ve seen these leadership behaviors come to the fore. We will be worse off if we don’t continue to use them.
Five Leadership Behaviors We Must Retain
- Possibility Thinking. When we face what seems like a dead end, we have to get creative. It requires a shift from identifying the barriers in our way, to asking what would it take to overcome them? There is always an answer to this question regardless how improbable it may seem. Develop new vaccines from scratch in less than 12 months?
- Learning Through Experimentation. The pandemic has created uncertainty about most areas of our lives. What worked before may no longer work in the future. It requires the willingness to learn through trying something new. To take on a learning mindset. Leaders must create an environment that makes it safe to try new things and to feel good if the results don’t turn out as expected.
- Accelerating Decision Making. This goes hand in hand with #2 above. Experimentation only works if we are prepared to be nimble. Rather than stick doggedly to the original plans, we must be willing to challenge our ideas, adapting from our experience. This means pushing decision making down to the front line and giving them the support they need to follow through.
- Focus on What not How. With most knowledge workers working remotely, we can’t see who is in the office and seemingly working hard. Instead we have to manage by securing clear agreements on what is required and judging success by the results. This also means being a great coach and not taking over if things don’t go as planned.
- Leading with Empathy. Perhaps the most important change is how we connect with the people around us. Remote working has led to isolation, as well as having to juggle schooling for parents of children. The best leaders react empathetically. They provide the required support required to manage these challenges.
As we leave the pandemic behind, the leaders who continue to role model these behaviors will continue to thrive. There will be a stark difference in comparison to the ones who don’t and assume things will go back to normal.
The Leading Action webinar is coming up on Wednesday December 9th at 10am. There is still plenty of time to register and if you are unable to attend, you will gain access to the recording. Click here to learn more and secure your place.