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Leadership beyond Covid-19

By: Yahya Mofreh Alzahrani

Leaders are students of wisdom, seeking success, and achievement –  when COVID-19 spread out – no one expected it to have this butterfly impact; an event in a city in China had shaken the whole world, put the world order in a chaotic situation, and redefined our priorities. 

It was indeed a wild card, an event that wasn’t expected with a very high impact, and the questions what kind of leadership we need to overcome this unprecedented period.

As leaders are students of wisdom and success, observation becomes essential in a fast-changing rhythm and complex dynamics; distraction is one of the issues that may divert us from focusing on our core business/scope to be pulled to a secondary endeavor. 

Survivors in a lot of business redefined success, and wisdom took the shape of silence, the wait for new news or a cure, that would help get the global community on its feet again after a long curfew.

A great notion like adaptability and resilience could be implemented as a quick change that would create a wide case of resistance with organization, and here we envisage the role of leader as a communicator to reach to the people’s heart & motivation to lead them via this transitional period with the more robust organizational immune system.

In these times of significant uncertainty, we need to be more resilient; Felix able to interact with less harm and losses in our organization but also our life; it’s a chance to have time to reflect on one’s life, not just business, and what is essential in life.

Major industries are shutting down, and others are rising. Others are just in between trying to survive and pushing for a challenge on their leaders by questioning their ability to shift from industry to another by assessing opportunities and interacting with the potential growth that could benefit the organization.

One of the critical lessons taught by John Maxwell’s book is that leadershift means being ready to make quick changes on the go. This may very well mean seizing an occasion that does not promise much and turning it into an opportunity. Business success is not for those who toil and follow the trodden path, but for those who are ready to invent a new path and, whenever they must, abandon it and create a new one.

This crisis introduced new patterns of global behaviors; it impacted our mobility, connectivity, social relations, personal relationship, and food choices. It’s so amazing to see the international community united or at least semi- aligned for one purpose, but what all of this is telling us?

What a wisdom student or a leader what take as lessons from all of this? Here some lessons

  1. your health matter; if you are not well, you can’t lead
  2. strength doesn’t just comes from within, but from all people around us impact it, power is not just internal, but it needs others to be presented, projected, pulled, or pushed.
  3. your priorities may change, it’s not what we consider is most important will remain after COVID-19 there is more in life
  4. human being is a unique creature and can adapt to anything and interact with a new situation with new solutions
  5. business needs to have the ability to shift either inside or at their business proposition
  6. anything that happens outside your country will have an impact locally
  7. transversality/ regulated chaos is the new normal
  8. mental health matter
  9. don’t despise essential support
  10. reconnects with nature
  11. we’re finite creature, a true leader who leaves a real value and

COVID-19 affected the government, were masks diplomacy introduced an emerging type of relations were health security became dominant and corporate espionage raised. Some fantastic companies granted free patterns for breathing machinery; we observe the world; differently, this existential situation makes us think about what matters the most, what we cherish the most, and how we would benefit from the lessons we learned during this period to be healthier and much resilient in the future.

INSEAD published an article titled “four-strategic-priorities-for-the-post-COVID-19”. One of the priorities for business is quantifying unimaginable risks, particularly the ecological and environment; this can go for health or major spread-out that could impact. We can’t talk descriptively about threats anymore; it needs to have a numerical methodology, trying to be more accurate in the case of “What if” quantifying social and political risk is one of the priorities. For the future after COVID-19.

In a time of VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity), leaders must reflect their resilience by instating & restating their values that cherish their existence and the ethical principles that drive their lives and missions. Wisdom, success, and achievement become an outcome of the journey.