Many of us will have never experienced anything like the current COVID-19 crisis in our lives. Businesses are scrambling to cope with a rapidly evolving landscape. They need their leaders to lead them through these unpredictable times. Employees are looking to them to provide confidence that there is a way through this. The importance of leadership has never been as important as it is right now.
However, it’s important to remember that successful businesses haven’t got to where they are without effective leadership. In order to get through the current climate, leaders need to engage with employees in the right way, at the right time and with the right information.
What is leadership?
“Leadership is a process of social influence, which maximises the efforts of others, towards the achievement of a goal”. It’s important to know that leadership is different to managing. Although good managers should have good leadership skills, not all managers are leaders. They may be able to tell people what to do, but are they able to maximise the efforts of their team? You can have leaders in your team who are not managers but can motivate other employees to work together to achieve the goal. Effective leaders are the ones that step up not only when times are good, but also in times of crisis.
What makes a good leader?
The COVID-19 crisis that we are currently facing will show businesses who their good leaders are. Effective leaders will now be able to maximise the efforts of working from home and be able to change the way they lead due to the unprecedented times. Here are some skills that good leaders have.
They lead by example
Trying to motivate others to work towards a goal that they themselves are willing to work towards isn’t going to gain respect. Rather than telling others the target they are expected to reach, good leaders set the bar and meet it themselves. This can create loyalty and respect amongst others to achieve the goal.
Effective leaders are problem solvers
This doesn’t mean they have all the answers to every problem. However, they will work to find the answers. They always have the goal that was set in mind and look at the bigger picture. This allows them to prioritise and set tasks in order for everyone to achieve the goal.
They are decisive
In order for good leaders to be good problem solvers, they need to be decisive. Especially at the moment when businesses need to be able to react quickly to any changes that are being put in place, time wasted pondering on decisions can mean they miss opportunities. It’s important for businesses that their leaders step up and make the important decisions that are needed rather than putting them off and harming the business.
Effective leaders are great communicators
You must be able to communicate with your team well to be a great leader. With most offices working from home, it can be difficult to communicate important messages to your team. With so much information that is regularly changing, communicating effectively is important for people to understand what is happening and if any changes are being made. It’s not just about speaking to your team. Being a great communicator also means listening to them and any concerns they may have.
Why you need leaders during COVID-19
It can be difficult for some people to be as productive right now as they once were. They may be juggling working from home with looking after their children. Others may be worried if their job is safe. It is the job of the leaders in the business to ensure remote working is as effective as it can be. How can they support some of their team who may be struggling with their workload? Are they communicating effectively any messages around the future of the company to put some of their teams’ minds at rest? Is there a plan to get the team back in the office and have their team been listened to when creating this? Without leaders in your business who are able to step up during this pandemic, it will be even tougher for businesses to get through to the other side.