The new normal for leadership past COVID19

It’s all a bit confusing. Is this really the new normal or are we waiting for a new, new normal?  What we do know for sure (sounds sort of Oprah’ish) is that something has radically changed. What lessons will be taken away from this pandemic as leaders? Organizational memory can be short. This crisis has provided us with opportunities to think differently. How can we use lessons learned to create a different kind of workplace moving forward?  We need to understand the future of leadership past COVID19.

Here are some things to consider as you think about the future of leadership past COVID19.

1. Lessons on Delegation

One of the issues that often comes up for my Executive Coaching clients is around trust. Specifically, around trust and delegation. Leaders can find it challenging to delegate work, worrying that things won’t get done the “right way”. During these last six weeks, we’ve had to delegate and we’ve had to trust. We haven’t been able to micromanage, instead, we have asked our teams to micro-focus. Big difference.

As a leader what have you learned about the capabilities of your team during this time? How will that inform your willingness to delegate differently moving forward?

2. Lessons on Resources.

I have seen people sharing resources in entirely new ways during this crisis. I’m beginning to see a shift from scarcity thinking to abundance thinking. We are sharing and collaborating in entirely different ways.  Some examples I’ve seen in my own community: Clients sharing hand sanitizers and other key supplies Our local United Way has provided non-profit leaders with a weekly call to touch base call. Over 150 organizations are jumping into the conversation.

Organizations that don’t provide essential services are finding new ways to provide supportive services.  We are seeing an emergence of creative collaboration. We are asking each other what we can do to be supportive vs. questioning the competition’s motive.  Organizations are also thinking about how to reallocate resources differently. Can we move resources from a mileage budget to a technology budget? How can we take conference dollars and utilize them for professional development? What questions are you asking about the reallocation of resources?

What lessons have you and your team learned during this unique time?

Recommended activity to shape leadership past COVID19

Here’s a recommended activity I encourage you to use to address this important question.

Have your team compile a list of all of the processes that they have adjusted during this time. Compile that list and ask everyone to do the following:

  1. What new processes should be integrated into our new future? Consider these to be a net positive and literally put a + sign next to those items.
  2. How can we identify new processes are we excited to stop doing once we go back to work? Consider these to be a net negative and literally put a – sign next to those items.
  3. What new processes are net neutral and how can we further explore whether they are worth keeping?

Let’s face it, we have all made significant organizational pivots in the past few weeks. And many of these changes are actually informing us about how to work better in a new future. We have surprised ourselves with how easily we have adjusted to things. we thought we would never do, like meeting remotely.

The future of leadership past COVID19 is emerging during this crisis. These leaders are more agile, flexible and innovative. They are emotionally intelligent. Compassionate. Empathetic.

What are you willing to do to create a different type of work environment moving forward? And, are you up to the challenge?

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

Deb Cummins Stellato is an igniter of people and organizations. She is a certified leadership and success coach, nonprofit consultant, motivational speaker, and leadership guru. She brings insight, energy, and experience to individuals and teams looking to be the best version of themselves.