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Naked Leadership after Covid-19

Nothing ever reveals more the essence/basic thinking/real intent/personal traits of organisations and individuals than a crisis. Have a look at the indicators that make things transparent!

Getting flooded with a huge amount of information from so called gurus, scientists and other people that feel the need to share their perceived wisdom about what you should do now, I was hesitating to add my part to the "Covid-19 flood". However, there is a future after Covid-19 and I dare to share some thoughts as potential learnings from the current situation that might help us in the future.

If we open our mind beyond the boundaries, we are currently experiencing, we should see the unique opportunities for gathering valuable information and discovering never disclosed insights. A wise person once stated: Never miss the opportunities of a good crisis! However, I guess it was meant differently than I interpret it now! Nothing ever reveals more the essence/basic thinking/real intent/personal traits of organisations and individuals than a crisis.

With human nature by far not changing as fast as technology it is still valid to say: Past behaviour predicts future behaviour! So have a thorough look at how your boss, your partner, your company, your political leaders behave now, and you get a fairly good picture what you can expect from them in the future! Probably less obvious and sugar coated to what you can see right now.

Communication experts currently have their "high times". Politicians and company leaders strive for getting their communication "right". However, many miss the point: Communication (the information provided and the way how it’s presented) is an output! Digital age leaders, who are already in a much better position than traditional ones, understand: It is not about the output, but the outcome! Only what my "output" triggers with my audience counts!

Let’s look at my favourite topic leadership as an example. The information leaders provide now and the means they are using is the output. You can measure this in channels used, reprints, comments, shared infos, likes, but ultimately this is irrelevant. What counts is the outcome they achieved! Have a look at three elements that Adapt2Digital defined as critical for digital age leaders, as they are relevant in the current situation too, and assess your boss, your senior political leaders. This is not deep science but rather about gut instincts that all of us have:

TRUST: Did a leader deepen, amplify trust with you? E.g. through addressing concerns and answering questions honestly, transparently? Through open learning, consistency in messages and behaviour? Or did they act autocratic, arrogant, like a know-it-all? I guess we all can identify at least two leaders in the Western World who reacted like that to Covid-19.

COMPASSION: How much compassion and true empathy did you see? This is unfortunately what many leaders lack the most but is critical in the current situation! So, if a leader cannot express compassion and show true empathetic behaviour now, how much of it will be with "business as usual" in the future?

STABILITY and HOPE: This is for sure the biggest challenge in crisis situations, but still critically important! Can leaders stay calm? Can they share, stand to and act according to believes, provide purpose and meaning? If you observe such behaviour now, how much easier it will be for such leaders in "normal" times!

These are observation/assessment criteria for leaders that provide you insights about them far beyond Covid-19 times.

– Published on LinkedIn on April 15th, 2020

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