A leader sets the tone during any crisis. We’ve all faced challenging times, whether an individual crisis felt by our own company or a broader crisis impacting the industry or nation. The global magnitude and sheer uncertainty around the pandemic have required another level of leadership. In addition to drawing on past experiences, the most successful leaders have been adapting to a constantly evolving situation. The same approach will be required as the world moves toward the “new normal,” however that is defined.
I’ve always been a proponent of authentic leadership, and there’s no better time than a pandemic to demonstrate authenticity. During a crisis you don’t change who you are or how you relate to people, but you do take a hard look at your regular activities and assess what works and what doesn’t in the new situation. You may need to do a lot more of some and slightly less of others. Practices that were once “nice to do” can quickly transform and become “absolutely need to do.” The next day, priorities can change again. In this regard, leadership is also situational. It is critical to be aware of potential shifts and be prepared for quick pivots.