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Leadership skills for the future

You may have felt tested in your role in the past few months, but rest assured, you are not alone! Collectively our management skills have been tried, pushed and developed in a crash course. Whilst there is no text book to answer “how to manage during a global pandemic”, you may have found yourself looking back to theory for how to best handle business disruption. You may have also looked to peers and even competitors for strategies and best practice approaches. However, now is the time to look within!

Take a moment to reflect and learn lessons from your own leadership skills during the coronavirus pandemic thus far. A pause of contemplation and self-reflection has the power to set you up to be a better leader going forward. Here are just some of the skills you may well have gained for the future:

Agility and adaptability

Whether you are well-versed in agile project management practices, or the concept is new to you, your agility will have undoubtedly been challenged by COVID-19. Extreme changes on a global level have affected business across the globe. As a manager this means your role will have been encompassed by change navigation. Adaptability has become vital, and there has been pressure for quick action like never before.

Going forward, so much will have been learned from this. It will surely impact the pace of your future decision-making, your ability to react and respond to bumps in the road on any project, and how to navigate through external changes. Consider one of our PRINCE2 Agile courses to learn more about agile practices and frameworks.

Innovation

Innovation goes hand in hand with being agile and adaptable. As you decision-make, pivot and find solutions, you are innovating faster than ever before. Standing still has not been an option for companies during these unprecedented times, and so innovation has been crucial. Whether it has been repurposing existing products, relocating existing talents, finding new ways to deliver, or creating new products and services based on changing demands, or finding new markets.

Embrace this trend and become a team or company unafraid to try new things and continually reinvent, reimagine and create. Innovation will see your company thrive post lockdown. So, make a habit of being aware of shifts in the landscape and attentive to change. Become accustomed to seeing new opportunities and acting upon them.

The personal touch

A huge majority of us have gotten to know our neighbours more during lockdown, and there has been a real sense of community developing worldwide. People are looking out for one another, helping those who are struggling, and on the whole being more friendly and personable; we’re all in this together after all. This collaborative spirit is likely to have reached our work lives too.

As a manager in particular, you are likely to have checked in with your staff more than you would have done previously. In part, this is due to employees working remotely, but also because of the seismic changes which we have all had to deal with – it is always worth checking messages have been received and that individuals are on the right track. The takeaway from this being that you will likely know your team that little bit better on the other side of these testing times. Ensure that two-way communication and your personal touch continues, as it might just make you a better leader.

Positivity

It is key that we look for the positives to take from the COVID-19 situation. Being more personable, innovative and agile going forward is certain to benefit your work life. Further development of each of these traits and soft skills will be key to success. So, reflect on these takeaways, and others too - perhaps you have surprised yourself with how you’ve handled business communications throughout disruption, or ways in which you have lifted team morale. Beyond being prime examples for any future interviews, these success stories should give you the confidence to rise to new challenges. Establishing and advancing these skills could be fundamental in the future of your career as a leader.