Leadership for the Hybrid Workforce – August 2021 Coaches Corner

New manager leading a team brainstorming meeting

We asked our Coaches to reflect on how the pandemic has impacted leaders, and what skills they think strong leaders will need to succeed in the new hybrid workforce. Here's what they had to say:

The global pandemic is creating unprecedented volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. What leadership lessons can we draw from this global health crisis?

In my experience the leadership lessons we can draw from this global health crisis is the power we possess together, as individuals within communities, organizations, countries and nations, to navigate our ways through adversity, chaos and crisis.  On a personal level this may be called resilience; our ability to regain our self-agency by finding our way back to what we care about most.  I term this Self-authorship as leadership begins with Self, what we’re authoring and spirals out through leading others and ultimately leading for impact.  

During these times of great consequence “what are you tolerating” and “where were you wrong today” are even more powerful questions to ask as they raise self-awareness and our levels of consciousness.   True power lies in recovering through self-awareness as it’s fundamental for consciously choosing how to move forward, like it or not.   When one feels lost, overwhelmed, burnt out we can still intelligently choose in each moment versus trying to force an outcome.   I believe the collective leadership lesson is we are living and leading ecosystems (not ego systems) of change and we’re being asked to broaden our focus in stewarding new ways within a new world.  These are not times of force, or to be “right or wrong”, they are times of “with certainty” getting comfortable in uncertainty for the sake of growth and evolution.    

Sue J

Susan J.

Leadership Coach, Sounding Board
Vancouver, B.C., Canada

What are the most critical leadership skills for the hybrid workforce?

When we cut deep into thinking about this pandemic, it is clear that it has not created fundamentally new behaviors—human nature has evolved to deal with pandemics over the millennia—but rather made visible what had hitherto been invisible. In some respects, this is quite literally true: the interior of your colleagues’ apartments, the loudness of their dog, the health of their mother, their fears, their neuroses, you’ve seen sides of your colleagues you’d not seen before.

This gives great leaders an opportunity to continue to do what you’ve been doing during the crisis. You rose to the occasion. You listened, you paid attention, you adjusted, you respected.  You did what you had to do, under the circumstances, to make it work. You did what you could to help your colleagues excel, rather than think of what they could do to help you.

Having seen what you’ve seen, do not avert your gaze. The care and empathy you showed during the crisis? Keep showing it.

“Ask not what my country can do for me, but what I can do for my country.”

Richard Nash

Richard N.

Leadership Coach, Sounding Board
Brooklyn, NY

“Coaches Corner” is a blog series where we share perspectives from Sounding Board’s global network of coaches on trending and relevant topics, as explored through our leadership capabilities coaching model.

To read previous Coaches Corners, click here

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