Leaders are currently under constant strain from two sources. The first one is the intense pressure to deliver excellent short-term results despite big changes in what consumers need and want, where and how people might choose work, and whether supply chains function at all.
The second pressing need is to convert — to reinterpret the future of your market system and workplace in light of changes, and to rediscover your company’s strategy and objectives to win that future.
Dealing with either type of pressure is challenging, which helps to explain why so many leaders appear nervous and stressed. Agreeing to meet both of them at the same time, on the other hand, can be terrifying. Leadership qualities to consider during this changing times are:
Necessitates managing time
How do you deal with the chaos of the present — the onslaught of Slack messages, customer crises, and people issues — while also making room for the future? How can you avoid becoming overwhelmed by day-to-day tasks that seem so urgent, at the expense of game-changing initiatives that are truly important?
Providing that information begins with finding concrete ways, both institutionally and personally, to basically make time for the future.
Encompasses the stress levels of leadership
How could you solve problems that your organisation has never seen before without becoming exhausted or giving up? How do you keep going in a role that seems to get bigger, harder, and more unmanageable by the day?
Answering those questions begins with rethinking your leadership style and trying to recapture some leadership wisdom from more than a century old. Mary Parker Follett, a highly respected (but often overlooked) “prophet of management” from the early twentieth century, differentiated between leaders who possess power over people and those who focus primarily on power with people. “That is always our problem,” she famously wrote, “not how to get power over people, but how to get control of a situation all together.” involves rank-and-file morale.
How else can you help people stay positive and energetic when it’s so normal to feel anxious and defeated? If we ask people to spend so much of their time — and so much of themselves — in their job role, shouldn’t we also help them?
Answering these questions means assisting people in recapturing something that has gone missing in far too many organisations: a sense of pleasure, even joy, in day-to-day implementation and the enthusiasm of meaningful innovation.
There has never been a more tough period to be a leader, whether you’re in the charge of a large corporation or a small team. But if you can come up with solutions to these questions, you have a chance to pass our generation’s leadership test.
Written & Compiled by Faber Mayuri and Faber Aleena