One thing that is clear from the world we live in is that the world has forever changed. There are businesses who had their worst year in 2020 and there are others who had their best year. Besides industry, let’s look at what leadership traits helped those leaders have their most successful year in business.
Businesses that thrived during the pandemic are those that have been led by leaders who prioritized their people.
They used traits like flexibility, vulnerability, empathy and openness to lead their teams. These have always been vital leadership characteristics but 2020 required a more attentive focus to these attributes.Many leaders had never led a remote team before this. They had to keep abreast of the context in which their people were working, and pay close attention to their energy, efforts (and extra effort) and capacity to do a job well done.
As we move through business during a pandemic, it is vital to know that most people just want to connect, be seen, understand and be appreciated for work that is done behind a monitor. This is especially true when all communication is done digitally. People crave connection.
According to Simon Sinek, “The leaders who get the most out of their people are the leaders who care most about their people.”
We won’t be in a pandemic forever. In fact, some states and parts of the world are more open to people gathering than others. The lessons of leadership during a pandemic are clear. Recognize the effort as well as outcomes so that you can build a high performing, highly engaged team. Take the time to show your team you care about them as much as you care about the outcomes they are producing for you and the business.
This may require you to use new skill sets like curiosity, collaboration, shared learning and the use of ever-so-valuable technology.
ADP Research Institute did a global study of engagement in 2018 that reported that people who trust their leader will be 12 times more engaged. Trust as a leader is built when you show you genuinely care about the person working with and for you.
Go make it happen and show your people that you care!