In my work with leaders over the past 2-3 decades, I have had a series of opportunities using tried and tested business tools to enable leaders to deliver their Strategy successfully. This work has been highly engaging and rewarding for myself and leaders.
2020 has brought a new dynamic in leadership – COVID-19.
Leaders globally are facing the new reality each day of getting through the COVID Era whilst trying to navigate a path to a viable future state as a business. Day to day pressures such as cashflow, consumer behaviours and lock down restrictions mean they are fighting to survive and at the same time looking to develop sustainable business models for the future which is very much VUCA!
VUCA, Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity was coined in the 1990s by the American Military as they fought new wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. To help meet this threat they developed a whole new way of conducting warfare in response to unprecedented tactics by their enemy.
Of course, it isn’t just leaders who are struggling to engage with this new reality. Followers (People) are impacted too. Research is identifying a number of challenges for Followers:
- Challenges to motivation levels as they struggle to cope with daily demands and identify with past future goals
- Family life complexity with rules around lockdown, children away from school and working from home
- Anticipation of fractured workplaces, split by events such as furlough, childcare issues, time off work to shield and ignorance of social distancing rules
I’m sure you could think of several more!
Now is the time for Leaders to step up and start leading again, whilst drawing on their reserves of Resilience, being authentic and perhaps ignoring some of their own needs. (Not advised for long periods – you are only human)
You may have seen one of my earlier blogs with the COVID -19 Leadership Model – in case you missed it, here it is:
C – Communication
O – Opportunity
V – Visibility
I – Innovation
D – Downtime
The key principles that underpin the model are:
- Communicate frequently, authentically and with honesty
- Look for opportunities to improve your process, systems, and capability of your people
- Be Visible – your people need to see you, even in a virtual world
- Innovate – to be more efficient, generate new business opportunities and get rid of worn out processes that hold you back
- Make sure you factor in down time – even if you only have 20 minutes to spare in the day!
In our activity since then, listening to clients, coaching leaders and taking on board thought leadership from around the world we have identified lots more in terms of great ideas, tips and hints to help you navigate the COVID-Era as a leader.
In summary we have captured these as:
Let’s take a look at these in a bit more detail:
Leaders all over the world are looking for answers. They want to create certainty, to get people back on track and ensure their organisation can survive. Of course, in the VUCA world this can be really challenging- perhaps for some impossible. So make more time to listen to your people. It will have three key benefits:
- People will feel valued
- They will come up with ideas that you had not thought of
- You will get a real sense of the organisational mindset and take actions to address this based on what you are hearing not what you are assuming
Having listened then you can take away ideas, reflections and the real mood of the people to begin implementing ideas, structuring communication and taking your organisation forward.
In addition to this take time to look at other organisations, thought leaders, events in other economies. What can you learn from them? What mistakes have they made that you can avoid?
Having endured lockdown both personally and professionally what will you LOCK IN to your leadership style, what will be become permanent in terms of ways of working?
Don’t just be that person in a crisis – to be truly authentic you need to LIVE IT!
Our next complimentary webinar – COVID to CLARITY takes place on Monday 7th Sept, 2:00 – 3:00pm (BST) to register please follow the link https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcpcO2prjouGt21kMjHcTTb0ibuEe5lw6Fz
Do you need support in developing your Leadership strategy? Contact Co-Creation on +44 7876 024555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org, our specialist consultants would be delighted to help.