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What this pandemic has taught us about leadership and what’s next

What this pandemic has taught us about leadership and what’s next

The coronavirus pandemic has managed to put forth extraordinary challenges for today’s pioneers. Businesses and governments have been scrambling to cope with a highly unpredictable and rapidly varying landscape. And as such, the approach of business pioneers to manage the heavy impact of the crisis has changed – as have the results.

Tim Martin, chairman of JD Wetherspoon, had called for criticism for attacking the government’s decision to shut down pubs, saying he wouldn’t pay his employees. German chancellor Angela Merkel’s approach has been well-received, with her leadership style still living up for many. From such approaches in response to the pandemic, what has this coronavirus taught businesses about leadership?

This pandemic has knocked a plain yet important fact that we’re all human beings, and no one is immune. Great leaders who have excelled in their field are the ones who have connected to that human aspect of being human. Another lesson that we have learned is that extreme vulnerability sits within society. From a leadership standpoint, it tells us that we cannot run businesses or support organizations in the way we did before.

As we keep progressing through this crisis, transparency plays a crucial role in leadership. Any company—be it public or private—will require some tough decision-making in order to sustain their business in the long run as uncertainty persists. Leaders would have to present their future agendas, implement them, and get on with the action that needs to be taken.

After this pandemic situation comes to an end, there is no going back to normal. And from this crisis, there are a handful of additions that need to be implemented by the leaders of today. Two out of those handfuls would be to create a speak-up culture and practice mindfulness.

A speak-up culture can provide a platform for sharing ideas, discussing ethical decision-making, and connecting with people from far ends. If this culture is not practiced now, your business is highly unlikely to thrive in the later future. Coming to mindfulness, evidence from scientific studies show that practicing the art of mindfulness can greatly benefit the process of molding yourself into a better leader. Compassion and resilience are two features of mindfulness, and it is proven to be vital for pioneers in this pandemic crisis to inherit this quality.

One of the biggest outcomes of this crisis will be to emphasize correcting and developing ourselves as leaders driven by values. The end result should always give you a clear picture of how you progress in this progressing world and how your abilities help build a genuinely collaborative leadership. Toss off the “I am” mentality and welcome the “We are” idea because we’re all in this together, and we’re all going to get through this crisis as well.

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