Many of us remember the common belief after September 11 that the world was going to change. It seems a distant memory now compared to the global changes instituted in the past few months due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Many of us entered the protection of our homes in March and we still aren’t sure what type of world we’ll emerge to find. But what we do know is that employees in the workplace will look toward strong leaders who are willing to take the rudder and steer their ship through these untested waters.
Here, then, are nine keys to leadership in a post-pandemic world that will guide you on becoming that strong leader.
1. Be the example of what you want from your people.
One of the best ways to teach someone is to model it for them. If you show managers and employees step by step how to do something, they can process and implement it on their own. The same is true with leadership. If you provide an example of how hard you want others to work, how to hold yourself in a meeting, or the quality of work you produce, then you’re more likely to see this reflected back by your employees. It also makes explaining what you are looking for much easier.
2. Set goals.
Ultimately, it’s your job to set the bar you want your organization to meet and how you expect each key player to make that happen. Another option, if you prefer a more “hands-off/delegate authority” approach, set the goals and let the managers create the strategies to get you to that goal. They can then present these to you for your approval. But, if a company doesn’t have anything to work toward, then they have no purpose and drive.
Regularly communicating with your organization is key. Be transparent with where the company is and where it’s heading. You absolutely don’t want a rumor mill that allows bad information to fester. Instead, address any concerns people have up front and, if possible, anticipate those needs as well. Regularly express your expectations and let people know the status of the organization as you see it. Whenever possible, recognize good effort and those meeting goals. But, if goals aren’t met, don’t sweep this under the rug. Instead be open and discuss what measures must be put in place to meet them.
4. Be involved.
A good leader isn’t standoffish, so check in with staff regularly. This may mean having one-on-one meetings with key management to know how things are going from a company point of view as well as from their experience. You learn a lot from your employees in these personal meetings, which also allows you to provide guidance. Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to get out and be seen among your staff so you aren’t seen as a “shadowy figure” in your tower.
5. Have a positive attitude.
It’s way too easy to have a negative perspective. And if you have a negative attitude, it’ll only be magnified when each employee catches a whiff of it. Unfortunately, negativity is easier to catch than the common cold. Once it spreads, it leads to a downward spiral that won’t do anyone good. Instead, create the atmosphere you want by reframing and finding the positive. You can always find good and provide a solution or a way to turn the negative around. This is what your organization needs from you.
6. Celebrate achievements (even the small ones).
Reaching or exceeding a goal always means more when it is recognized by those at the top. And when a leader takes time to notice, it can make your spirit soar. An employee called out for excellent performance is an employee fired up to perform even better. Nothing’s better for company morale than this form of appreciation.
7. Make decisions.
A leader is there to lead, and you can’t lead without making decisions. Those who are wishy-washy and put off making concrete decisions will be ineffective. If you have difficulty in this area, it’s imperative that you evaluate what is impeding your ability to make sound, time efficient decisions. If you’re being held back because you fear making the wrong decision, alleviate this fear by gathering all the info you need. Delegate this research to others and have them report back to you. If you need input from others, have those who create the reports also give their input as to what they think should be done based on their research.
Leading is synonymous with coaching. The truth? You’ll need to give inspiration and direction to help your organization hit goals. This can come in the form of setting goals and devising plans. But it can also come in the form of those rousing “half-time/locker room” speeches to get the team fired up for victory.
Remember that respect is earned over time. In your organization, it’s the fuel by which you’ll ensure everything runs smoothly. You’ll iron out conflicts to everyone’s benefit. Show respect, but also demand respect. That creates a culture built on respect.
Leaders aren’t born; they’re made with hard work, diligence, and perseverance. If you implement these nine key points into your everyday leadership and business acumen, you’ll become the inspiring figure needed to help your company succeed in a post-pandemic world.
If you need help with a business issue, I can provide you with the professional advice you need to make an educated decision. Schedule a FREE 30-minute consultation with me today.