Leadership in a COVID-19 World

The Covid-19 pandemic means supporting the basic and psychological needs of staff with a different style of leadership.

The effect of Covid-19 has invoked uncertainty over health, income, and indeed our very future. The effect of the pandemic means that normal life has been overturned. The metaphorical alligators are amongst us…

‘When you are up to your neck in alligators, it’s difficult to remember that your initial objective was to drain the swamp’

Against this backdrop, leadership in companies has also been challenged. Guiding staff through uncertainty demands a radically different approach than leading in times of relative stability. 

But recent experiences with clients have highlighted outstanding examples of managers and directors, by instinct, in response to Covid-19. They have swiftly adopted a new approach in the direction of their businesses and staff.

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Leadership and the role of aligning organisational and personal values

Defining and agreeing on ‘values’ in strategic planning and subsequent behaviours in daily routines.

Two recent events in working with clients have been an interesting reminder of the need for defining and agreeing on organisational values in strategic planning and subsequent behaviours in daily routines. 

Both businesses are in engineering, with similar sizes of staff levels. Both were overhauling and re-writing strategic plans.

Company ‘A’ was writing the plan because, amongst other things, of an imminent customer – and industry approval – audits. On a different tack, company ‘B’s reason was it wanted to set the ‘True North’ direction of the business for the next three years – and beyond.

A key point here is that values are both current ‘the way we act do now’ and future, or espoused values and ‘the way we will act in the future’. Or the collective behaviours in pursuit of the strategic goals.

The process and outcome of the respective ‘Values Alignment’ for company ‘A’ and ‘B’ could not have been further apart…

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Listening Leadership: Getting Down on the Shop Floor

Leaders – get down on the shop floor. Walk and talk and listen. You’ll be surprised what everyone can learn.

There seems to be no shortage of books, articles, advice and wisdom on leadership styles and the characteristics of good leaders. Yet it seems that one small, but valuable, behaviour is often missing – or at best limited in practise. Particularly during organisational change and development. Getting down on the shop floor.

In using an analogy : when our son was small he often demanded that at playtime we, his family, ‘get down on the floor’ and join him on the family-room carpet in whatever he was playing with at that moment: making castles from wooden bricks, building Lego or Brio trains or simply drawing… 

Of course a small child’s world operates at that level and that we, as grown-ups, in encouraging play, fun and learning engaged with our son in his world, at his level.

Is there a parallel to ‘getting down on the floor’ with staff in the workplace? From experiences over the years it seems there is. Its getting down on the shop floor!

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