Redefining Leadership for Success in The New NormalThe Nielsen Network
Redefining Leadership is A Must in 2022
Why Has the New Normal Changed the Way We Lead?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the world’s corporate leaders still focused on an outdated management style. Emphasis rested on performance outcomes and hours worked, but today’s business environment is very different.
Redefining leadership became a necessity during the pandemic. We had to trust more, and performance could no longer be monitored as it had been.
A company’s ability to adapt and remain relevant is now vital to staying ahead of the pack. This is why today’s corporate leaders need to adjust their governing methods.
Redefining Leadership for a Hybrid Work Environment
Today’s digital age, coupled with global lockdowns, has brought remote working to the fore. Gone are the days when the last person to leave the office automatically became the highest performer.
New performance metrics had to develop to stay abreast of working from home during COVID-19. As the world begins to normalise again, offices have become an option, not a necessity. Companies are giving staff the choice of whether to work remotely or from an organised space.
This brings its own set of challenges with it. CEOs and managers must oversee teams both physically and virtually. While productivity often increases with remote workers, fostering team dynamics becomes challenging.
We spoke to Yolanda Cuba, MTN’s Vice President for Southern and East Africa, to gain a greater insight in redefining leadership. She believes training and communication can solve the afore mentioned challenges.
Essential Leadership Skills
The traditional skills and qualities required to lead will always remain constant. However, we must develop some new abilities.
Tough love and stern leadership were favourable in the traditional management style, but empathy is now more critical. Cuba believes that, as leaders, we must be conscious that everyone is dealing with anxieties, uncertainty, and ambiguity.
Taking your staff’s wellbeing into account will be a strong focus, and companies must prepare for this.
Becoming approachable to your staff is crucial in redefining leadership. Clear lines of communication foster productivity. Employee engagement is essential to keeping them motivated, inspired and working at their best.
This is possibly the most essential skill to work on in today’s climate. The uncertainty we dealt with through the pandemic has not left us yet. Being able to adapt quickly to sudden changes can make all the difference.
Your staff may need more leeway than before. So, encouraging an open thought process is vital. We need to be flexible in all aspects, from our working hour policies to how we judge competence.
Important Leadership Challenges to Consider
Developing specific skills may be the easy part of redefining leadership. There are challenges to our ways of thinking that we must consider.
Adjusting Your Trust Quotient
Letting go and allowing your employees to work independently can be difficult. Many leaders struggled to adjust to trusting that their staff would maintain productivity at home. If the pandemic taught us anything, people are able to work from anywhere (as long as there is a good internet connection).
We need to work on increasing our trust quotient as it creates a positive environment for collaboration and innovation.
Bill Gates reportedly predicted that 50% of pre-COVID business travel is now unnecessary thanks to technology. Cuba refers to the technology as an enabler for leading. If we learn to leverage the technology, we create more efficient processes.
Learning to Experiment
The business world is developing new standard operating procedures. Cuba believes that companies with leaders who embrace experimentation will get there first. She thinks we need to be comfortable with not getting everything right the first time.
Trying new things is the only way to find out what works and what does not.
Learn from Africa’s Biggest Business Thought Leaders
Observing our prominent business leaders allows us to learn from them. Yolanda Cuba offers valuable insight into redefining leadership in the new normal.