Extraordinary leadership in challenging times
And why this may be just what we need for the futurE
Sense of Leadership
2020 changed the world. The COVID-19
pandemic forced mass lock downs across
the globe, causing economic volatility at a
level not seen since the Great Depression.
Businesses reacted quickly, closing offices
and requiring thousands of employees
to work from home. In many industries,
revenues dried up. Demand for oil slumped.
For leaders, 2020 was messy. Without a
way to predict the future, let alone what
would happen in the following week, leaders
were challenged by unprecedented rapid,
continuous change. This meant leaders
needed to respond to new issues more quickly
than conventional logic would say is possible,
and deal with a new level of emotions from
nearly all their employees, ranging from fear
to stress, anxiety, and deep sadness.
So how did leaders and organizations react?
Some chose to “wait and see.” They operated
under the assumption that things would
eventually “return to normal” and led in
essentially the same way as usual. Others
succumbed to fear and acted defensively
– trying to control things, or “stay strong”
so others could depend on them, clinging
to processes and avoiding talking about
complex issues like race and mental health.
These leaders tried to stick with their tried
and tested approaches, letting their people
deal with their personal issues and concerns
on their own.