- Can you continue with crisis management for month after months and, potentially, year after year?
- Can you run a business profitably with so much uncertainty?
- Can you keep the team inspired despite all the challenges?
These are the questions you are trying to answer every day after the pandemic began.
Answer to the questions is simple and straight forward.
It is leadership.
Leadership and Management
There can be some contrary views. One might argue that management skills are more crucial in crisis times, such as COVID. What do you think?
Interestingly, there has been a sibling rivalry between leadership and management.
Management is the coordination and administration of tasks and resources to achieve a goal. It covers people and other resources.
Leadership is about getting people to commit to achieving a goal. Let us focus on the leadership in this article.
COVID Era Leader
COVID era Leader needs a set of unique skills, a tad different from the pre-COVID era. Four qualities are stand-out in the toolbox of COVID era Leader.
1. Courage: COVID era leader should demonstrate courage to managing crisis after crisis calls for courage. Remember what Brian Chesky, the CEO of Airbnb, told us about COVID? "It took us 12 years to build Airbnb, and we lost almost everything in four to six weeks." It takes courage to manage COVID.
2. Agility: With so much uncertainty in the operating environment, the COVID era leader should bring the team up to speed in adapting to the & 'new normal' quickly.
3. Empathy: When everyone around you is making sacrifices in their day-to-day lives, the COVID era leader will demonstrate empathy.
4. Problem Solving: When every part of the business, be it procurement, production, sales and distribution, face peculiar obstacles the COVID 19 era leader is required to resolve them quickly without losing sight of the long-term goals.
Communication and strategic thinking are the other two skills of a leader, both before and after COVID.
Communication is a core skill of any leader. A leader has to able to relate to the people and convey the message clearly in a manner the audience will understand it.
Similarly, every leader has to think strategically. Whether it is developing a corporate strategy or short-term plan, the leader is always concerned about the ways and means to accomplish the goal.