How Covid-19 Reveals the True Leader
 
JMAMONI Lifestyle & Etiquette Institute Pte. Ltd.
Mar 28, 2020
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As a young professional, I can clearly remember what my former boss once told me: “as a CEO, finding solutions in times of crisis is what I’m actually paid for”. This resonates strongly, now more than ever. Leaders, whether in the home, in communities, in organisations or in countries, are now called upon to move mountains and display resilience. The ‘what if’ has become the ‘what now’ and will distinguish between resilient leaders and ‘lifestyle’ leaders.

Organisations are now challenged to find solutions for their employees. People need tasks, something to work towards and look forward to. It is important to keep moving rather than finding complacency in stagnant and lethargic behaviours. Similarly, fear-mongering and negative vocabulary breed some of the consequences we are now seeing and will continue to see in the long-term. Consequently, it is crucial for leaders to demonstrate the full spectrum of their capabilities. Much too often, intelligence is relied upon as the driver of solutions, however the importance of designing from the heart and the head needs to now be manifest in business practices. This also constitutes a responsibility to employees to safeguard their livelihood. Taking this away from them can leave an aimlessness in life, resulting in physical and mental numbness. Such a phenomenon is already evident in pensioners in the Western world, who struggle after retirement. Similarly, leaders need to provide and maintain as much continuity of business as possible, while being proactive, offering long-term approaches and enacting positive vocabulary, such as “opportunity”, “growth” and “sustainability”. When companies find themselves stretched thin, leaders that can navigate murky waters and recognise that challenges don’t just present roadblocks, but opportunities, are invaluable contributors to long-term success. Inactivity is lazy, irresponsible and harmful.

Let’s take the educational sector as an example. Directors of Learning in schools have recognised the need to adapt in order to offer continuity in their services. As businesses should do, educators have sought out opportunities by exchanging information and experiences with their colleagues in their approach to remote learning and different strategies. This has also been observed in politicians, who have devised appropriate policies by learning from previous experiences (i.e. countries that suffered initial waves of outbreaks). In this way, it is important to reflect tried experiences and recognise that novel strategies don’t need to be discovered, but effective strategies need to be remodelled to particular circumstances. Successful leaders and organisations are diverse and varied, however, the one thing they have in common is they are not defensive. Disruption does not necessarily mean a standstill. Schools as a business and as an institution keep moving, just in a different way.

Companies, recognise your capabilities and your limitations, identify ways to develop new capacities and identify the real leaders. Strengthen your economic and social resilience. Value competences such as interpersonal skills, crisis management and team management. Humility is a virtue in times of crisis, and now that leaders are being challenged, it’s time to separate the wheat from the chaff.

What type of leader are you? Are you the fear-focused, the unfocused or the strategy-focused leader?

 
 
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Contact Juliana Mamoni
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