SARS’s Edward Kieswetter on leadership in the new normal. We did well. But we didn’t do well.
SARS Commissioner Edward Kieswetter: “I recently wrote a letter to our staff where I basically owned up and said to them we didn’t know what we were doing. We all did well. But we didn’t do well. In that entire period we imposed on you, we asked you to turn your dining room tables into your offices, we disrupted your family life, your social life. And while we were doing that you yourselves were anxious because you didn’t know what was going to happen, whether you would get COVID. And so while you were going through your own anxiety, we expected you to still perform your work. And we enabled you to do the work but not always mindful of the imposition that we were making. And then when life changed, was it now you must all come back to work and people were finding reasons why we shouldn’t bring them back to work. I said it wasn’t as if we had a blueprint so I have to come to you and own up and say thank you for helping us Thank you for being tolerant and patient with us. Now let’s work together to heal and to find out what the new normal would look like. We created workgroups with our trade unions, with our own internal staff. We are in the final throes of redesigning our entire value proposition with our employees, which will include a new normal in terms of hybrid work. And I think what we all have to do as leaders is with humility, accept that we made it up.”