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7 Traits That Leaders Must Have To Lead Their Businesses Out Of The Lockdown

Strategy, Communications, Determination
Strategy, Communications, Determination

7 Traits That Leaders Must Have To Lead Their Businesses Out Of The Lockdown

One year into the COVID-19 crisis, it’s time to take a breath and ask ourselves 2 questions:

COVID-19 has brought society to a crossroads. We can choose one path or another. We can slink back to the way we were, making a change or two in the name of progress. Or we can confront what the pandemic has told us that “the way we do business and the way we run society is not fit for the future”.

There are a few organizations that sadly have leaders who are waiting to snap back in muscle memory and get back to the way it was. That’s an unrealistic expectation. There is no going back because your competition is going to adapt and put itself in a better place. Anyone who gets caught going back to the rear is going to fail and pay a hefty price.

We have a very profound leadership deficit, which spans both government and business. At its best, leadership is about uniting people to collaborate on building towards a shared future. There is a glorious opportunity here for genuine leaders to pull people and organizations together, in the right direction for better recovery and smoother transition into the future.

Most leaders believe that COVID-19 has challenged every long-held belief in business. Some say it is time to put humanity back into leadership. The past year had sealed the death of all-powerful, autocratic command and control leaders. Life after the lockdown requires a whole new era of compassionate leadership that was much heralded in the past, but only adopted with lukewarm enthusiasm. The majority of leaders agree that it is time to find a new way to inspire, motivate, influence, impact, and lead.

Lead Change, Inspire People, Empower People
Lead Change, Inspire People, Empower People

The urgent need to re-define leadership has propelled us to propose a new model for leading out of lockdown. Our L.E.A.D.I.N.G. model is a structure for re-setting attitudes and re-setting society as the vaccines roll out and injections overcome infections.

The L. in leading is about looking like a leader.

What did the truly effective leader look like in the past 12 months?

How can we replicate their mindset, their behavior, their words and their actions?

One of the key leadership strengths to emerge in this horrible year has been agility, the ability to swiftly identify and seize opportunities under incredible pressure.

The E. in leading stands for empathy, emotional intelligence, and empowerment. These three leadership traits are the DNA of the compassionate leader.

The A. in leading is all about awareness. Not only awareness of the environment, the world and your stakeholders but also the highest level of self-awareness of your strengths, your weaknesses and your impact on others.

The D. in leading is about delivery. It’s not just about getting products to market. Delivery means getting difficult things done. Do you have the ability to deliver truly remarkable achievements and change in the most challenging of circumstances?

The I. in leading is for impact. This is the ability to communicate with clarity, brevity and impact as well as the skills to inspire, motivate and encourage.

The N. in leading is for nurturing. This is about nurturing your people to maximize their individual potential. It’s about developing and caring for them in the teeth of the storm.

The G. in leading is for game changing. For life after lockdown, we don’t want leaders who deliver incremental change—people who get there in stages. The world of business and wider society needs leaders who have the courage, the vision and the determination to radically change the game.

Leadership, Teamwork, Responsibility
Leadership, Teamwork, Responsibility

These 7 traits amount to a new kind of leader: one who is fit to meet the challenges of the future.

We owe it to our children and our grandchildren not to go back to the way we were. We owe it to the over 120 million people who have been infected, so far, and the over 2.7 million people who have died. We must use the memory of the experience of COVID-19 to improve our world and to improve the lives of the 8 billion people who inhabit this planet.

How successful will we be in this endeavor?

In the end, as always, it all comes down to leadership!

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“Happy Sailing, Grasshoppers”!

Chris Abbey