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3 Leadership Lessons Learned From The Pandemic

Written by: Santarvis Brown, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

As I sit here writing this article, we are over two years since the pandemic first entered the United States. And as the pandemic is still impacting thousands of families a day a new virus is emerging – monkeypox – that reminds us we never know when or how a microscopic disease will shut down the world. In 2020, if you had told someone what was to come, few if any, would have told you that world businesses will not only survive but they will thrive. And in fact, businesses, once they accepted the inevitability of change did thrive. Old staunch leadership structures gave in to the burgeoning world of millennial innovation. Work efficiency and communication had to be rethought. And risks had to be taken. In the end, business innovation, technology, and processes were forced forward decades.

We certainly learned a lot of things these last few years. But what were the actual leadership lessons that we learned from the pandemic? Those lessons that forced us to step outside our comfort zone to become better business leaders.


Here are three leadership lessons learned from the pandemic.


Communication and Socialization Both Improve Efficiency


Not only did all employees need to adapt to new communication technologies such as Zoom and Slack, but how we communicate also became important. Formal meetings took on a new look, as many of them were more time conscious and formatted after social gatherings such as water cooler conversations. Group and one-on-one sessions to check in or even just chat became common. By scheduling time to communicate, workdays actually became more productive. In effect, the scheduling efficiency of communication may have redeveloped how businesses look at the efficiency of socialization in business.


Remote Work Schedules do Work


Prior to the pandemic, remote work schedules were frequently pushed back against as developing inefficient workers. However, the pandemic has shown that even with a toddler interrupting an important meeting to go potty, employees can still be very productive at home. In fact, many employees became more productive by learning the skillset of setting boundaries while working. Don’t think boundaries are important? Consider how many times your work friends disrupt your workday to chat about the ball game or a new TV series. You can probably thank your three-year-old for this one.


Support and Connection Matter


Many leadership styles are framed around styles that invoke micro-management and a personal separation between leader and employee. The pandemic showed many business leaders the importance of providing support for employees as well as developing connections. Regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings with employees help direct your focus on the needs of each employee. Did you know that one of the biggest morale killers in the workplace is employees who do not feel heard? Not only has the pandemic taught leaders how to focus on each employee individually, but it has also showed us how we can provide support, yet step away from the micromanaging approach to leadership.


The pandemic was a challenge for everyone. As leaders, it has taught us that change is not only good, but also effective. The pandemic forced businesses to reinvent their work processes and communication. It propelled business processes decades into the future. And it showed leaders that employees do not need to be micromanaged in order to be efficient. The pandemic taught empowered leadership.


Visit Santarvis on his LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more information.


 

Santarvis Brown, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Santarvis Brown has spent 15+ years serving as a leader, innovator, and changemaker in education, showcasing in-depth insight as an administrator, educator, and program director. A noted speaker, researcher, and full professor, he has lent his speaking talent to many community and educational forums, serving as a keynote speaker. He has also penned several publications tackling issues in civic service, faith, leadership, and education.

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