How To Lead Post Covid-19

How To Lead Post Covid-19

How to Lead Post Covid-19

By Mark Wager

In this past week, I’ve coached Leaders from a range of industries but our conversations have been dominated by a single topic, unsurprisingly the Covid-19 pandemic has been the only thing Leaders have wanted to talk about. In this time of uncertainty the only thing we can count on happening is that the pandemic will pass and when it does how will it’s impact have changed the world and what does his mean for Leaders who have to navigate this new world over. In this weeks article I want to share with you some of the main points that have emerged from my discussions with Leaders during the past week and hopefully these comments will help you prepare as a Leader.

We are not going back to normal. 

One of the key messages we all have to learn is that we are not going back to normal. This  outbreak has impacted the world and it’s economy to such a degree that there will be a new normal and as Leaders we will have to learn how to lead in this new world. This means that any plans to go back to how your business was running prior to the outbreak has to be reviewed. Maybe for a few businesses it will be like before but for the majority of us we need to look at how a recession will impact us and how people’s behaviours will change post Covid-19. Previously, no one would have any issue being part of a large crowd but is that going to be the same moving forward? Having meetings via videoconference or working remotely or from home is going to be more common which changes the dynamics of the team you are leading.

We need to review Health & Safety policies 

Unless there is a vaccine created very soon, the reality is that the Covid-19 virus will be returning at some stage in the future, and it’s unlikely that this is a one-off event. This means Leaders will have to review their Health & Safety policies in particular contact-tracking. It’s going to be vital that when the next outbreak occurs, we are able to identify and track down anyone who has had contact with an infected individual and all of us will have a role to play in order to make sure this happens. Leaders will have to make sure that systems are in place to ensure that anyone who comes to their premises have their details documented. In addition think about what precautions you will need to put in place in order to ensure the safety of your team, how close are the desks going to be to each other, what happens to your sick leave policies when once the symptoms of a cold seemed minor now it could be infectious and deadly. All of our Health & Safety policies are going to have to be rewritten.

Leadership styles need to change 

The style of Leadership typically required during a crisis is not the same as what is required during normal business as usual times and it’s important to know the difference. I remember a time when I was talking to a Leader of a large organisation in New Zealand and he was regretting promoting a Leader who did such a good job during the Christchurch earthquake. This was a business that couldn’t close because of the importance of their services and while the earthquake was going on strong Leadership was required, someone who was directive and confident willing to take on responsibility and push through what was required. This was all good but when business as usual returned the Leader didn’t change her style and continued with what worked for her during the crisis but now instead of coming across as strong she was being perceived as being dictatorial and inflexible and to make matters worse she was now promoted with more responsibility and with more people to lead. What works during a crisis is not the same as what works post-crisis. Remember this.

Personal Development will be more important than ever

What is certain during the upcoming recession is that Leaders will be required to do more with less. Leaders and their teams will be expected to deliver the same level of service and produce the same results as before, if not more but the usual amount of resources just won’t be available. You may lose team members or your budgets will be cut. The key when resources are limited is to ensure everyone is as effective as possible including yourself which means training becomes vital. Leaders need to make their people better, with more skills in order to manage their work and their relationships with their co-workers better and all development starts from within so post Covid-19 Leaders will need to focus a lot more on their own development than ever before. Having  Leaders and team members who are just average is not going to be good enough going forward. We all need to be better.

It’s time to give people hope 

Napoleon once said “Leaders are dealers in hope” and this is something that is more important now than ever before. This outbreak and it’s different forms of social distancing depending on where you live has been difficult for people. Typically during a crisis you see communities come together because it’s part of human nature to find safety within groups yet this crisis has been different because now being part of a group doesn’t bring safety it’s the opposite. This  has lead to people feeling isolated alone and quite vulnerable which is why the most important thing a Leader can bring to their team is hope, This doesn’t mean you are just being positive and saying what people want to hear. That isn’t hope. Hope is when Leaders are able to provide a clear pathway of how the team is going to successfully navigate the world we now find ourselves in. There’s been a lot of misery around the world during the past few months it’s now time for hope.

“You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all of the world's problems at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own.” - Michelle Obama

About the Author

Mark Wager is the Chief Leadership Coach at the Australasian Leadership Institute. Originally from the United Kingdom but now calling New Zealand his home, Mark shows leaders across the Asia Pacific region how to influence, motivate and inspire their teams. Driven by a frustration of attending many ineffective workshops during his 30 year managerial career Mark has made his passion in life to redefine how leaders are trained.

Mark takes advanced psychological theories and makes them accessible to the modern leader regardless of their background, experience or industry, by developing customised Leadership workshops and individual coaching sessions that combine practical real-life scenarios with a mixture of British wit. Mark dispels the myth that there are certain Leadership skills that can’t be learnt. 

Leaders from some of the regions most prestigious organisations have been trained by Mark including the delegates of the European Union, Weta workshops, Amnesty International, Unicef, Barnados, St Johns, Red Cross, NZ Basketball, NZ Tennis, NZ Hockey, NZ Netball, NZ Rugby League, Ministry of Justice, Department of Internal Affairs, NZ Defence Force, the Fijian Broadcasting Corporation, The Fred Hollows Foundation, Sofitel resorts, Raddison Hotel Group, Te Whanau Waipareira and many more. 

You can contact Mark via the enquiry form below 

Posted: Friday 24 April 2020

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