The unanticipated arrival of the Covid-19 virus perpetrated great economic malfunction all over the world. Due to the lockdown situation, small businesses as well as large businesses have incurred monumental financially losses equally. However, as this New Year begins there is hopeful news with the new vaccines that will help combat Covid-19. Leaders have started to neutralize the loss brought upon by the inactivity in the past year by innovating the notion behind leadership. Leaders have learned a lot about leadership skills in the past year by operating and transporting the agency of running a business from their homes.
In the beginning, it was quite testing to do that in such a limited amount of time as prolonged business non-functioning was giving rise to other unforgiving issues such as unemployment and an increase in inflation rates. So the first and foremost ordeal for people in leadership roles ought to begin by stabilizing the immediate short-term needs of the business with the long-term strategies and vision. This is the primary step leaders ought to take for transforming their companies to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. As business places commence and return to normal life with caution, leaders are taking it upon themselves to formulate effective return-to-work plans and modifying work processes to be congruent with the demands of returning to professional life after a year of working from home. They are also learning to adapt to carrying out operations in a post-COVID-19 world by making intelligent judgments about the short-term actions they take to bring about long-term results after returning to combat the impact of the pandemic on their respective businesses.
These are the top ten essential leadership skills to master to successfully do business in a post-COVID-19 world:
- Embracing open-mindedness in an unpredictable world
If this year has taught everyone one thing, it is this. While the Covid-19 state of affairs were in its initial stages of spreading, people were fearful about what was going to happen next. Leaders, being the most pivotal community in any business, were especially unsure about the future of their business. It was a new kind of ordeal for leaders of the contemporary era to come across such a demanding and unforeseen potential threat to their business. Unlike internal threats which can be easily negotiated by leaders, Covid-19 being an external and inevitable threat raised immense anxiety and fear in businesspeople.
Shortly after schools and other corporate businesses were moved to online mediums such as Zoom, leaders started experimenting with managing employees from a screen. This was a taxing job in the starting but with steadfast cooperation and strong communication skills, leaders made it possible to overcome this alien practice with gradual use. Similarly, the year 2021 will demand the same employment of open-mindedness to return to the real world and readapt to working in offices with other people.
- Showing resilience during unplanned situations
It is not sure yet if returning to the real world is a possibility in the first half of this new year. Even if returning to work from offices is not going to happen immediately and may take some time to come about, leaders do not have the time to worry about the exact time they will return to their companies. In such an uncertain situation, leaders ought to exhibit a great sense of resilience and forbearance to efficiently equip themselves for any unforeseen circumstances that come their way. If leaders are to return to their businesses this year, they will have to handle whatever impediment that comes their way with a resilient and stable attitude.
- Setting goals for their company
A company is destined to lose track and succumb to poor monetary performance if there are no non-negotiable goals set for it to achieve in the first place. By doing so, leaders will let everyone know the exact areas to target and restore that were affected by the Covid-19 disruptions. Moreover, setting goals for anything encourages people to be more willing to work harder to move toward a certain outcome. Life after Covid-19 will be unexpected in a multitude of ways for businesses all over the world; however, with an intelligent and keen application of goals, leaders will be able to produce positive results for their companies.
- Encouraging a strong sense of adaptability among employees
There is nothing in this world that can achieve success without cultivating an adaptable attitude to situations. In a similar way, leadership roles require a great amount of adaptability from leaders because other employees depend upon their leaders to guide them about what to do next. Businesses that managed to overcome the inconvenience brought about by Covid-19 interference did so because of integrating a strong sense of adaptability and flexibility in their employees. A leader needs to be cognizant of the fact that each individual who is part of the company will have their own motivation for being adaptable for the company.
- Inspiring empathy and compassion
This skill is one of the very integral soft skills that is required by any company operating on the practice of ethics. There is no surprise that people tend to perform better when they are treated like equals and receive empathy and kindness from people they are working hard for. People returning to work in 2021 have undoubtedly suffered a lot mentally due to the Covid-19 pandemic and this is the optimal time to show them compassion and listen to what they have to say. Leaders ought to check up on their employees and extend a helping hand whenever their employees’ come across an issue. Without empathy and compassion, leaders would be compromising on the work environment essential for carrying out smooth operations for their company.
- Cultivating a more inclusive environment
People from all walks of life lost something very precious in 2020. For some people, it might be of a compact nature, but for others, it might have been a loved one and so on. This New Year 2021 will be a great time to transcend the boundaries of ostracizing people on the basis of their race, social status, education level, gender identity, etc. Leaders ought to become radically inclusive so no one is left out and everyone’s needs are met. A good leader will always go beyond their means to ensure the work environment they cultivate is inclusive and refuses to differentiate between people on the basis of illogical presumptions and stereotypes. A good leader always treats their employees equally and with compassion.
- Building a better team support than before
The previous skills that were mentioned in the beginning are essential because it is impossible to establish a healthy work environment without having a reliable team support. Leaders are nothing without their teams. In order for a leader to perform up to their most eminent potential, they ought to build trust and a sense of belonging among their team members. After returning to workplaces after a long time in 2021, leaders will have to re-establish and cultivate a strong feeling of camaraderie and trust among the people who constitute of the overall team.
- Balancing internal promotion with external recruitment
Because the pandemic allowed for immense financial mayhem and collapse all over the world, the role of balancing the internal work dynamics with the larger scheme of things will be a priority for leaders in 2021. Leaders will have to make decisions regarding critical key positions that ought to be filled to neutralize the crisis by not spending more on external factors that cannot be controlled immediately after the world returns to some kind of normalcy.
- Ensuring a safe environment for employees
The previous year was all about social distancing and taking all precautionary measures to keep the virus at bay. However, this practice will still be very much evident and necessary to ensure a safe working environment for the employees. The last thing any good leader would want is the increasing number of Covid cases amidst an important business deal or assignment. To avoid this, leaders must be prepared to take all kinds of rudimentary precautions to ensure the safety of their team members after the reopening of their operations.
- Celebrating new and innovative ideas
The disruptions caused by the pandemic caused a good amount of people to fall into a state of repeating mundane and monotonous routines day after day. In the beginning, the thought of communicating with fellow employees and holding business discussions via Zoom seemed exciting. However, some people have started to outgrow the idea of working from home and are in need of change. Even leaders might have found themselves in a kind of rut after things became too redundant and prosaic after a while. As good leaders and professional people, the year 2021 should be a year of creative innovation and unconventional thinking. All that leaders have learned in the previous year should be applied in the coming year to experiment with more unorthodox ways of doing business everywhere.
There is no doubt that 2020 was a year of out of the ordinary and uncommon procedures, instead of the traditional method of working prevalent everywhere until the pandemic struck. A chief revelation of 2020 has been that company leaders ought to be prepared for the worst in case of something unfavorable, such as Covid-19, comes to pass all of a sudden. It is very crucial for leaders everywhere to keep restating the purpose of the company in any situation. This approach which involves sustaining the overall growth of the company and evading inactivity can be very fruitful to business stability and long-term success. Leaders ought to take cautious measures to counter inauspicious circumstances and sustain business development no matter what happens. Moreover, business people can always embrace the integration of technology as a norm to carry out business operations when the prevailing situation is not ideal for doing business in a traditional manner.
Dr. Tina Persson |CEO| Career & Leadership Coach| Author | Helping people to fulfill their goals