The world has been shaken and changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As we move forward, what are the lessons learned from this generational crisis? Here’s my take: Leaders need to possess the necessary skills to adapt and succeed in this post-pandemic world.
As I researched and wrote “A Test of Our Time: Crisis Leadership in the Next Normal,” I became a student of leadership insights and perspectives. Look for my book’s debut this spring. Here are some of the leadership skills that will be key:
- Flexibility & Adaptability: Leaders need to be flexible and able to quickly adjust as conditions change. They must learn how to pivot their strategies and plans as needed to meet new challenges or take advantage of opportunities that come up.
- Strategic Thinking: Leaders must now focus on long-term strategies rather than short-term solutions when making decisions. They must understand what is going on around them with a bigger-picture view and be able to anticipate seismic shifts in the market and changes in customer needs.
- Decision Making: As we move forward, leaders must be effective decision-makers that can quickly assess situations, weigh their options, and make sound decisions even under pressure. They should also be aware of potential risks associated with any action they take.
- Empathy & Compassion: Leaders need to demonstrate empathy and compassion during this time of crisis and beyond. They should understand the challenges their employees are facing and create an environment that is conducive to mental health, well-being, and creativity.
- Digital Transformation Expertise: The post-pandemic world will require a shift to digital technologies for many companies. Therefore, leaders must be knowledgeable in the digital realm and able to develop strategies that will enable their organization to move quickly into the future.
These are just some of the leadership skills required for success in our ever-changing world. Many experts were calling for these skills before the pandemic. What’s changed since the pandemic is that none of these five skills are optional and all must be developed by top leadership now. Leaders need to stay ahead of the curve by staying on top of industry trends, understanding customer needs, and finding ways to make their teams more resilient and innovative.
All in all, many new skills are needed by leaders in this post-pandemic world. By adapting and learning from the current reality, organizations will have the capacity to thrive through any challenge or opportunity that comes up. This requires leaders to be flexible, strategic, and effective decision-makers with a foundation of empathy and digital transformation expertise. With these skills, leaders can ensure that their businesses remain successful in the years ahead. Without them, the new and next normal will be an even more grueling test for leaders and their teams.