The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be a good and effective leader.
- Turbulent times are forcing leaders to reassess the qualities of leadership that are necessary to keep large organizations functioning.
- A study from consulting firm Korn Ferry shows that the characteristics and traits necessary for leadership are changing.
- Drawing on an assessment between 2020 and early 2022, the study examined different metrics in five areas of concern: customer satisfaction, employee engagement and development, innovation, social responsibility, and financial strength.
- “Leaders of the best-run companies are displaying new qualities that are essential to building a more caring and empathetic workplace and otherwise thriving in a topsy-turvy environment,” says The Wall Street Journal.
- Out of a selection of 30, the five traits in demand among leaders in 2022 were tolerance of ambiguity, trust, curiosity, risk-taking, and adaptability.
- The top five competencies include global perspective, managing ambiguity, interpersonal savvy, collaboration, and instilling trust.
- This marked a difference from 2020, when both lists included openness to differences, building effective teams, driving engagement, communicating effectively, and cultivating innovation, which became of lower importance.
Why it’s important
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a widespread examination of how society works, as much of the world was shut down for months or years during the lockdowns. The changes that came out of those examinations have changed the way corporations and organizations function.
As we previously reported, remote work has become very popular for millions of workers and organizations have reorganized their office structure and communications to adjust to it. Issues with supply chain management have resulted in a need for a larger perspective on the world.
Controversies like these and others have changed the way leaders need to react when faced with new challenges.
“[Korn Ferry believes] there is a strong link between these specific competencies and fresh demands that the pandemic has exacted on leaders. Having a global perspective, for instance, has become paramount amid supply-chain disruptions and reduced talent flow across borders that continue to affect many businesses,” says The Wall Street Journal.
“Executives are not in control of the universe any more than other mortals are. But they do have a responsibility for the survival of the organization—and that requires making crucial adjustments as called for by the situation at hand.”