Will COVID-19 mean we tackle poor leadership head-on?

By Julie Towers | 13 May 2020

I wonder how we will view leadership and talent issues post-COVID? Everyone is rightly saying things will never be the same, and perhaps economically, financially, technologically and culturally, they won’t. But when it comes to needing and valuing leadership I believe we might see a bit of continuity.

Don’t get me wrong, COVID has put leadership right in the spotlight. Political leaders, Donald Trump, Boris Johnson, Jacinda Ardern and business leaders alike have been closely evaluated on their words, actions, values and behaviour.

In reviewing the early findings of our annual MJ Leadership Survey pre-COVID, we noted a positive move towards more authentic and adaptive leadership; high demand for leaders who can effectively performance-manage, and a drive for HR/OD teams to be focused on resources and skill gaps, and in particular the development of values-led management.

One chief executive said: ‘We need senior managers to live the change and lead the way for junior managers and empower them to make the changes needed’ – perhaps those not doing so will have been found out during COVID?

Perhaps they won’t be able to adapt quickly enough to the new normal, or perhaps our new-found creativity and pace will mean we tackle poor leadership head-on?

We look forward to sharing the full findings with you in June. If you would like to take part in the survey – visit https://bit.ly/CEXsurvey2020

Julie Towers is managing director of Penna

Julie.towers@penna.com

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