At Yellow Seed Consulting, we have been fortunate enough to run Leadership Development Programs for organisations of various sizes and have moulded these programs over time, including before, during, and after the Covid-19 pandemic. This has led to some very difficult but valuable lessons which have ultimately shaped the way we do Leadership Development.
Some of the major catalysts for the changes we had to make were:
- Virtual leadership. With companies being forced to adopt a virtual-only operating model, leaders were suddenly faced with significant issues related to remote work. How to maintain engagement, foster connection remotely, use digital tools to maintain operational efficiency, etc.
- Crisis management. Most leaders are trained to solve problems but rarely experience a true crisis. The pandemic created such unprecedented challenges that leadership had to manage a crisis almost daily and were not essentially not adequately equipped. Introducing agile principles and techniques on all leadership levels has therefore become crucial.
- Focus on Empathy. Most leaders were tested emotionally during the pandemic, as they were required to address unique employee problems and health issues on a large scale. The ability of leaders who exhibited this trait to navigate the pandemic far exceeded that of their peers. It also helped those leaders create safety and trust amongst employees. No leadership program should ignore the importance of fostering and developing emotional intelligence in leaders.
- Digital transformation. Digital transformation within companies accelerated dramatically over the last few years in every organisation. Leaders had to understand how to identify and harness emerging technologies and how to develop digital literacy from within. The need to develop an innovative culture starts with leadership and cannot be ignored.
- Global perspective. The pandemic showed businesses how interconnected the world is. Companies could efficiently recruit across borders due to the acceptance of remote working situations. Teams now span across geographical borders and cultural boundaries. Understanding and managing diversity has become more critical than ever.
- Wellness and Self-care. The one significant unexpected consequence of the pandemic was the expectation that employees need to remain available at all times. Blurring the boundaries between work and personal life led some employees to feel more connected to their families, whilst most could not escape work demands. This led to a dramatic increase in burnout and depression across most professional industries. Ensuring employee wellness remained a big personal priority for leaders was crucial.
As a result of this insight, we changed our approach to Leadership Development training to ensure a more lasting impact and to remain relevant in the current new context we find ourselves in:
We also found that the topics that needed to be addressed in current leadership development to address the current need the best are:
- The Fundamentals of Personal Mastery
- Stress Management, Well-being and Resilience
- Developing EQ in Leadership
- Innovation Leadership
- Influencing Beyond Authority
- Authentic Brand and Presence
- Developing Learning Agility
- Change Leadership
- Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging
- Developing Talent
- Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking
- Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams
This is not an exhaustive list, as many individual needs arose from industries and clients with specific needs. We know that a leadership team exposed to and trained in these areas is much more likely to navigate the future better and successfully.
This article was submitted by Yellowseed.