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Leading in the post-pandemic world 

January 2022: Mostafa Sayyadi says that anyone can become a better leader for post-pandemic crises, despite the obstacles and challenges they might face. This blog aims to inspire a new wave of thinking in the fields of leadership and organisational studies and to help people achieve their plans and goals as they recover from the pandemic

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The pandemic led to the introduction of new technology, new ways of conducting business and a new paradigm shift from office space to cyberspace. Executives had to find a new way to build teams as they changed to more remote work. People relied on the home network to conduct business – some expanded their bandwidth, while others were already equipped. New ways for educating executives, managing talent and developing entrepreneurs have been found.

The knowledge economy is going through an unprecedented level of disruption. The unexpected consequences of a protracted pandemic, increased uncertainty over safety and security and fears about a downturn in the economy have left many business leaders concerned about where their organisations should go next and how best they can prepare for post-pandemic recovery. One possibility is to embrace technology. Making the right technology decisions can create a business platform that embraces an uncertain world and gives organisations the resilience to bounce back.

 In a post-pandemic world, leaders must come to grips with their own motivational mindset before they can use their leadership competencies to motivate others. During the post-pandemic recovery, many people have embraced electronic communication and are engaged in internet-based relationships. 

The most important aspect of the post-pandemic recovery is you as a leader. I recommend trying to be both an authentic, as well as a transformational leader, in order to make the right decisions for your followers.

Authentic leaders rely on discernment on not only others, but also, and more importantly, themselves. Four simple steps are recommended to develop authentic leadership: 

  • Self-understanding: Jim Clawson developed VABEs – the values, assumptions, beliefs and expectations of how we see the world. Understanding your VABEs allows you to see life more as a journey rather than a destination. Think of what you value based on what you prefer and do not prefer and about assumptions we accept without questioning. Beliefs are based upon what we feel deep inside about ourselves and the world. In both life and work, we simply expect things. Based on this knowledge, consider your VABEs now;
  • Evaluating your desirable and undesirable self-aspects: We truly need to know what we see in ourselves, what we think others see in us and what people see in us that we do not see in ourselves. Discover your undesirable self-aspects and try to reverse them;
  • Actions for oneself: A plan or goal will put you in the right direction. Goals are based on two tenets that Randall Dunham discovered – goals need to have both direction and intensity. Both must be consistent to achieve a goal. Ponder your goals now and remember to plan your day today and then plan your tomorrow today, too! and
  • Developing interpersonal relationships: Being an authentic leader means being in touch with yourself and others. Communication is key. Too much is not welcomed and too little is neglecting others. 

Finally, these steps may prove useful for setting goals using transformational leadership: 

  • Idealised influence: Transformational leaders who show idealised influence are role models for their followers because they engage in high standards of honest and ethical behaviour;
  • Individual consideration: The extent to which a transformational leader attends to each follower’s needs and is a mentor, coach, or guide to the follower;
  • Inspirational motivation: The degree to which a transformational leader articulates an appealing vision that inspires and motivates others to perform beyond expectations; and
  • Intellectual stimulation: This is the extent to which transformational leaders challenge assumptions, take risks and solicit followers’ ideas. 

These four tenets of transformational leadership link follower’s individual efforts to the organisation’s collective interests. 

Image: Treety/123rf

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