We are living in a constantly changing world. This means we need to be evolving with it if we don’t want to become obsolete.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results”. – Albert Einstein
This notion of insanity could also be applied to leadership. We can’t expect old habits and skills to be useful in one setting and have the same results in a totally different situation.
Work-wise, one of the major challenges we are seeing is the change to remote working. Either this is a temporary or a long-term situation, but the reality is that you are dealing with it and it is your duty to do your best.
What leadership skills are most valuable now?
At Optimist Performance, we are always looking at defining great leadership skills. Studying the present circumstances, we think that developing the following skills could help your team, your company, and yourself to evolve and get through these difficult times.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.
We are living under stress and experiencing different challenges. Also, not having direct or face-to-face relationships is making it even harder to interact with people.
This is why, as leaders, you should focus now more than ever on your emotional intelligence. The ability to understand both your and others’ emotions is critical in identifying people’s needs and finding the right approach.
Since this is an unprecedented situation, using old answers to solve today’s problems may not be effective. Leaders who can be creative and think outside the box will be able to find better solutions.
Ability to build trust
Trust has always been an important leadership skill. But working from home (WFH) has made it an even more essential one.
Different ways trust can be seen:
Trust in people—You can’t see people at their desks anymore, so now your trust in them has to be even bigger. You need to create a culture of accountability, so everyone knows their jobs and is accountable for them.
Trust to create good communication—Build relationships where trust is a two-way street. They need to trust you so when they encounter a problem, they will have the confidence to talk to you about it. Either personal or professional problems can affect performance, so hiding our problems won’t solve anything. On the contrary, most of our matters could be easily solved if only we had the trust to talk openly about it.
Trust in yourself—As a leader, you don’t need to have all the answers, and no one should expect you to. But you need to trust yourself to be able to make decisions and keep moving. Otherwise, you will end up staying still out of fear of failure.
Trust in the process—You and your team have created a process that all of you believe is the right one. Now it is time to trust that it will work. You still have to be vigilant in case something goes wrong and has to be changed, but it is important to trust that what you are doing is the right thing.
If you are not capable of adapting to change, it will be impossible for you to evolve. You need to be able to learn and adapt. Everything that happened gives us a lesson to learn. Don’t be afraid of failure. If you have the ability to learn from them, they could be your best teachers.
Lead by example
This is maybe not a skill per se, but it is crucial if you want to build trust. You can’t say one thing and do the opposite. We often learn more from what we see than what we hear. So set a precedent and be the model that people can look up to.
We are all experiencing challenges, and sometimes they can be overwhelming, but no situation will last forever. So we need to trust ourselves, be strong and positive, and believe that we have the power and the strength to evolve and come up victorious to the other side.
- Listen to the podcast with Ollie here.