Leadership Lessons For The COVID Era: Why Positivity Pays
The COVID-19 pandemic is unlike any other crisis in recent times, and as the number of new cases continues to grow globally, business leaders face unprecedented challenges. The mounting uncertainty of what the new normal will look like, and how they will not just survive, but thrive, makes this one of the toughest test business leaders have faced.
As overwhelming as the COVID-19 crisis undoubtedly is, with the right tools and perspective, determination and resiliency, business leaders can help their organizations weather these difficult times and those ahead.
In speaking with executives across industries on how they have taken on the challenge of resiliently coping with the current crisis, we see the thematic grouping of four key leadership skills emerge:
1. Positive mindset
2. Build trust
3. Manage fear
I explore these in the paper I have authored for Mythos Group, but want to focus here on the first – a positive mindset.
Many leaders are struggling to find the right path to navigate through the COVID-19 crisis. Every day, the pandemic sows more gloom and doom – it becomes increasingly difficult to stay optimistic when the number of new cases of COVID-19 and associated deaths continues to rise.
It would be easy for leaders to be negative. However, the reality is this is precisely when leaders need to take on the COVID-19 crisis head-on. To pull through and emerge stronger in the post-COVID-19 new normal will require leaders to be resilient, think positively, and have a positive mindset.
Mindsets contain both intellectual and emotional elements that affect our perceptions, interpretations, and actions. They guide what we think and how we feel about people and things. From a leadership perspective, a positive mindset is foundational for success – nothing can be achieved unless you believe it can.
For businesses to thrive in the new normal, many organizations will have to reimagine their business model. Regardless of whether the reimagined business model change is incremental and evolutionary or transformational and revolutionary, achieving it starts with a positive, and “people first”, mindset from the leadership. Consider Steve Jobs, whose out-of-box experiences such as traveling to India to pursue spiritual enlightenment and auditing a class on calligraphy, helped to form a mindset that led to some of the greatest product innovations of the last half-century.
We may not be Steve Jobs, but within an organization, serving as credible and influential role models and propagating a sense of possibility from which their behaviors and actions follow, leaders still influence the behaviors and mindsets of their employees.
And it all starts with a positive mindset.
Mythos Group’s white paper, Post-COVID-19, Reimagining Leadership Resiliency, contains more detail on this and other recommendations, and is available to download for free from https://bit.ly/MG-White Papers.