Like many, 2020 has certainly been a weird and challenging time for me and the people close to me. The most disruptive and dangerous global pandemic of our lifetime has, for many, created a bit of a vacuum – where the ability to create and maintain meaningful relationships (both personal and professional) once lived. For others, it has actually created opportunities they may have never considered, with the chance to think laterally being forced upon us. There’s no one size fits all here.
So how can leaders adapt to this? In a time where uncertainty and the unknown seem to loom over us more than ever.
Thankfully, I believe many of the answers remain the same and have been under our noses the whole time – spoiler alert: kindness is key!
How can leaders serve their followers?
“Mastering deep, meaningful and human connections with customers and colleagues will become even more important as COVID-19 continues. As businesses seek to ensure they are doing the right thing in the right way, it is helpful to have a set of principles that act as a comprehensive checklist to ensure all the necessary bases are covered.”
This quote really resonated with me. Having worked in multiple industries over the course of my career, the principles that have resulted in good practice and meaningful interactions and relationships have always been the same. The current state of the world allows us a unique opportunity to re-think our priorities and how we can all be a positive force for change. And in the interest of brevity, I whittled them down to just three points:
This one is fairly self-explanatory, but a healthy work ethic isn’t something everyone innately has. For many (myself included, truly) it must be learned, and it translates to almost every facet of overcoming life’s obstacles and expanding our comfort zones.
Embrace and celebrate equality, empathy, and compassion in every way you can
Fostering kindness and equality in your work is the first step to creating an environment where people feel acknowledged and inspired. This is essential for motivating people to establish connections.
Take a dynamic and adaptable approach to solving problems
A flexible approach to dealing with obstacles encourages free thought, promotes collaboration, and frequently creates opportunities to change how we think about and deal with adversity.
“…The most successful people are those who accept and adapt to constant change. This adaptability requires a degree of flexibility and humility most people can’t manage.”
For many of us, this last point has been a huge factor in being able to persevere through the last 5 months and beyond. It has afforded opportunities for cooperation and building relationships that have been a cornerstone of adjusting to “the new normal.”
The necessity to adapt has also inspired many people to go inward and ask how we can do better as a society, how we can be more conscious of the needs of those who are disadvantaged, and truly get through this as a community. It’s an intimidating prospect, but perhaps real adversity may be the key to helping us understand that kindness, collaboration and hard work might be what truly brings us together.