The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic flipped our world upside down, changing nearly every aspect of our day-to-day lives. One thing the pandemic especially affected, however, is the way businesses operate. After over a year of adjustments, quality leaders today are bouncing back—adapting their strategies in response to this odd, but new normal. Those who refuse to do so have and will continue to watch their businesses suffer. Here’s a rundown on how leadership styles change post-pandemic and how to become a great leader considering the shift.
What Kind of Leader Do You Want to Be?
As John Maxwell once said, “People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” Being a sound leader is an extremely important, but potentially stressful role. Here are some practices to ensure your leadership style is in its best shape post-pandemic.
Polish Your Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence, or EQ, is defined as “a person’s ability to manage their feelings and empathize with others.” As we recover from this global pandemic, having this skill under your belt is especially important. During the pandemic, most employees had to balance working while living at home and tending to their families.
As a result, the need for a leader with emotional intelligence has increased tenfold. As Lynette Pettinicchi, founder of Lynette Nicole PR, puts it: “Business leaders need to recognize these struggles and exercise empathy and flexibility.”
She continues, “[Moving forward] employers need to be OK with employees tending to personal matters during traditional ‘work hours,’ provided their work does get done.” Regardless of whether an employee is working remotely or not, leaders are expected to move forward with higher levels of empathy post-pandemic.
For leaders who want to go the extra mile, Pettinicchi recommends upping your EQ by sharing your own authentic experience during the pandemic.
Create Meaningful Relationships
Benchmark One writes that often, “We tend to think of creative leaders as being inspiring visionaries who deliver powerful speeches that get everyone fired up and ready to charge into battle.”
Although this is one approach that may work for some, there is a myriad of other leadership styles that might work more effectively. As a leader, creating a foundation of trust and communication is non-negotiable.
Good leaders are expected not only to prioritize strong communication but also to model it. Especially for those who are continuing to work remotely, communication must be frequent and clear between employee and leader.
Tom Seery, founder and CEO of RealSelf, recommends leaders set aside designated “time for personal outreach, [including] one-on-ones and frequent all-hands sessions.”
Creativity is not simply about art. When you prioritize and foster creativity from the top down in your company, the result manifests itself through high levels of innovation and effective problem-solving.
Now, let’s remember the word ‘leader’ has the word ‘lead’ in it for a reason. In order to foster creativity in the post-pandemic workplace, you must lead by example. Begin first by training your team in an array of simple creativity methods, then stick with them and practice regularly. Before you know it, you will have a team of creative professionals on your team.
Recognize We All Have Blindspots
No leader is perfect. In order to grow with your company, however, you must take accountability for your shortcomings and identify where there is room for leadership improvement. You can do this in many ways. First, consider the use of a trusted advisor or friend.
Embrace the Future and Its Uncertainty
At Newcleus Credit Union Advisors, we recognize that although the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel seems to be visible, the tail end of the COVID-19 pandemic still promises change and uncertainty ahead, including how leadership styles adapt post-pandemic. Luckily, it is a challenge that all of us will navigate together. Today’s leaders are expected to stay alert and malleable to the challenges that lie ahead. After all, flexibility is the key to success.