Post pandemic leadership – you need to listen up

The research is coming in. The people are speaking on social media, Youtube and calling out their employers. Post pandemic leadership looks very different to what people tolerated before. We have all had time to reassess what we want in our lives, and who will choose to follow. It's time to step up, take control and lead with impact.

I predicted the 2020's would be a shift in leadership mindset. I had no idea that it would be to accelerated and urgent due to a global pandemic. No-one knew. 

It has many organisations with a huge skills gaps, between what talent wants from their leaders and what leaders are able to give right now. Upskilling is an urgent requirement and time cannot be wasted.

Redefining Leadership for Good

The pandemic has redefined what leadership is in the minds of everyone. Leaders did a great job of leading through a crisis with so much uncertainty and huge shifts in the way we work, consume and live. The sprint is over and now we shift to the endurance race of rebuilding and redefining how we live and work. Leaders need to upskill and develop competencies to succeed in this new world we all begin to create.

What is clear is that we no longer want unkind, uncompassionate and profit at all costs style leadership. The past 2 years have seen the rise in social consciousness and impact. With a accelerating global climate crisis, a war on plastics, mental health crisis,Black Lives Matter, MeToo, LGBTQ+, clapforcarers, respect for key workers and naming toxic cultures such as #BrewDog or employers who put people on furlough whilst avoiding paying taxes - the world is saying enough is enough.

We started the year with kindness being the hashtags we all followed. There is a shift, and this means the people and brands we choose to follow will need to step up and walk the talk.

Leadership skills such as openness, empathy, resilience, and the ability to communicate will be of greater importance post-crisis. Interestingly resilience was something seen as lacking in employees, not leaders, pre-pandemic. Now, we demand our leaders can pick themselves up in the face of adversity and keep going, creating and inspiring us. Other skills that are rising in demand are simply human skills, or humane - Altruism and mindfulness, caring and compassion.

Leadership skills such as openness, empathy, resilience, altruism, and the ability to communicate are now of greater importance.

Although strategic vision still holds its place at the top of skills, ability to be flexible and agile is rising. We want our leaders to vision for a greater future, and yet be creative, flexible and resilient on the journey to the destination.

We notice, good leaders build boundaries around themselves, not like a fortress, protecting them from the dangers or outside. Instead, boundaries to hold their values securely. Leaders that protect home and work, family and colleagues, phone time and fun time, they are the ones who set a clear message to their people that play is as important as work. We need our leaders to be clear about boundaries, and then allow us all to work autonomously, with trust and not a bit of micromanagement in place.

We also see a desire for our leaders to invest in us, and themselves. Learning, development, training and growing capabilities is the new currency when attracting talent. They want the tools, the time and the trust to develop and to be given opportunities to try, fail, reflect and grow.

Above all we want to feel safe

Let's face it, no-one has felt safe. When everything else feels out of control, we all look for certainty. If your leaders, our work, don't make us feel safe, we will leave, even set up on out own, freelancing or contracting. The insecurity of self employment is more appealing than working for leaders that don't make us feel safe. 

Leaders that create the space to engage with others and encourage others to engage with each other even while they work remotely create safety. Ideas such as virtual lunches, pub quizzes, games nights, afternoon tea, coffee chats, all create the small talk moments that create trust. We bring people together for a purpose, to socialise, to trust and to innovate.  and similar social interactions. They also need to feel as if their organizations have taken steps to safeguard their ability to be productive, to be innovative. Those relationships help thrive, or at least survive under pressure.

Cultures are changing.

Families are changing.

The next generation are changing us.

Leadership is changing.

We are prepared

We have been developing leaders to be be LeaderX for years.

We wrote the book, published the podcast and delivered leadership programmes to leadership teams. Now you can develop online, at your own speed.