When predictability is scarce confident leadership is critical. The leaders who are succeeding at the moment are those who have been able to rapidly learn new skills, change their way of working and act with empathy and compassion. Good leaders don’t just focus on the strategic planning priorities and determine whether the best approach is to pivot or adapt they collaborate, partner, and bring people with them. Whilst they are figuring out a way of working which enables everyone to operate in a safe and healthy way, they are considering how to develop the next generation of leaders. This is pertinent as many high potential employees are experiencing higher levels of stress brought about by working from home with blurred boundaries. Apart from mental health issues, retention has been the most critical risk of the exhaustion created by remote working. Hence developing the next generation of leaders has to be a priority.
How do you determine what is helpful and will take your weary team forward, reduce anxiety and increase confidence in your leadership?
Here are some practical steps towards building a development plan, showing you care and boosting engagement.
- Figure out what has changed and what is still uncertain and discuss it with your team.
- Pace yourself. Make the wellbeing of yourself and your team a priority. Our own emotional resilience and wellbeing enables us to find new ways of working whilst juggling the demands of the job and our personal life.
- Carve out time for thinking and reflection. You need to find a sustainable way of working. Creativity will win out over hard work.
- Hone your ability to influence. A leader’s ability to influence others plays a major role in helping to prioritise work and energise teams around common goals.
- Share your ideas with others – your team, your trusted advisor, coach, or mentor.
- When you delegate ensure that people are getting the right amount of work and resources and feel confident to complete the assignment and meet the deadline.
- Be vocal in making the achievements of team members known.
- Celebrate the success of team members.
- Share credit with team members.
- Support the development and advancement of a team member even if it means moving to another team.
In short, you will need strength, endurance, flexibility, balance, and coordination to take the team forward. Focus on what you can control. The past year has proved there are no’ off the shelf’ answers regarding how to lead with confidence in the face of adversity, in fact there are more questions than answers. Prior achievements are no longer a predictor of future success therefore learning whilst leading is essential. To do so leaders need an objective picture of their skills – unvarnished feedback to validate what has worked and is working so that they can build a development plan for themselves and their team.