Employer Advice

1. Self-leadership and team leadership

As leaders, our ability to lead ourselves and remain self-aware is crucial right now. Understand the manner in which you show up, how you act, how you set the tone and know the impact this creates within the team.

Address your preferences
Leadership preferences are really powerful, especially when you consider the myriad working environments available at the moment: home, office, and hybrid. Be aware of your ability to balance the needs of working from home and from the office — is everyone being treated fairly regarding access to support, communication, inclusion and development?

“I think that’s really important — that you’re aware of your own preferences, and you don’t let them hinder your leadership style or your balance,” says Katy.

Check your mindset
Your mindset impacts your behaviour, your attitude, your actions. It’s also the same for your people — if you sense a negative attitude within your team members, record a call and listen back to yourself. This will serve to give you an insight into your communication skills and how your approach impacts others.

Resilience and agility
Over the last 18 weeks, these two soft skills emerge time and time again regarding excellent leadership qualities. Leaders who have shown resilience and grit during the course of the pandemic have definitely helped bring their companies back into the black. 

“It’s a lot of responsibility but if not you, then who?” says Katy. “That ability to understand that you’re going to get it really right and sometimes you’re going to get it really wrong. The power is knowing when to adjust.”

Setting the pace
As the leader, you set the pace. At its core, pacesetting is about providing clarity, direction and goal definitions. By setting the right pace, you build team confidence because you coach people, you create routines which build discipline. You also offer personal and professional support and take that vital team pulse check.

“We’ve seen staff mental health become really high on the agenda over the last six to seven weeks,” said Katy. “We’re dealing with levels of fatigue and levels of exhaustion, and things never seen before and we need to make sure that we are offering [support] individually as a leader.”

2. Solving problems and seeing opportunity

Approach problems holistically
As a leader, there’s real merit in problem solving — it allows you to identify key priorities and prevents you from being distracted from goals. It can also be quite limiting in that it narrows your focus and prevents a future-looking view.

Retrace your steps
Over the course of the pandemic, it has been easy to miss key opportunities. Has your organisation missed the chance to improve processes or connect with customers in the last 12 weeks? Any findings could be used as part of the reimagination stage.

Use the resources you already have
By observing patterns and themes, by doing research, and by making use of reporting tools, you have the puzzle pieces you need to make an educated guess regarding opportunities which can be carved out. 

“The key here is not to over-complicate,” said Katy, “it’s just really reacting to the current situation at hand, but also being proactive about the future.”