Leadership in a new era: Six core behaviours leaders should focus on

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12月 08, 2021
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Human ResourcesBoard and CEO AdvisoryExecutive Search
Executive Summary
People Matters explores six core behaviours that leaders should focus on amidst these new uncertain times.
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Excerpt from the article originally published on People Matters, written by consultant Peter L. O'Brien.

Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Peter L. O'Brien was featured as the author of the People Matters article, "Leadership in a new era: Six core behaviours leaders should focus on." The article is excerpted below.

The pandemic has hit the Asia Pacific hard: businesses have been heavily affected by the COVID-19 crisis, with millions of workers suffering adverse impacts. Governments across the region implemented mobility restrictions to avoid the rapid expansion of COVID-19. In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced one of the longest – at the time – lockdowns on 24 March 2020, asking 1.3 billion Indians to stay home for 21 days. This record was soon broken by other countries in the region, like Singapore and Australia.

One and a half years into the pandemic, new variants triggered authorities to impose new strict measures, e.g. in Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam. Some were so strict, that people were reliant on food deliveries from the military. Few senior leaders have faced a challenge in their career as severe as what we have seen in these last 18 months. The pandemic is a novel test of their leadership ability – and no one has any idea how long it will last, how it will end, and if it will end at all.

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A continued digital transformation

There will be a reset of the business assumptions that underpin the old operational model when leaders plan for the future: how will they operate going forward, in terms of their digital strategy, their physical offices, traveling and their supply chains? 

A critical review of the current team

The past year has shown that some leaders and managers have not been able to adapt to the new model. It is time to evaluate which leaders and managers have been missing in action, and which have stepped up.

Shaping the corporate culture in a virtual workplace

While working from home can enhance productivity, the lack of touch can have adverse impact on the psyche of the employees and can lead to culture disintegration.

These new uncertain times require a different style of behaviour from leaders. As executives focus on making fast decisions, they cannot let their biases and other follies become critical derailers in stressful situations. Moreover, the ability to move against short-term issues requires a level of employee engagement that goes above and beyond – empathetic and purpose-driven leadership will be load bearing in the times to come. Executives and their leadership teams need to master:

BRAVERY: Executives need to be brave in thinking independently and making very difficult decisions. They need a sense of self-efficacy, or feeling of agency, with a mindset that they can act and make decisions that will improve outcomes.

AUTHENTICITY AND EMPATHY: Executives must display authenticity and empathy in all that they do and be a context-sensing communicator who is close to “perfect pitch” in their communications with different audience and in varying situations. 

To read the full article, click here.