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What is it like to lead in the New Normal?

Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results not attributes. —Peter Drucker

Everywhere we look, it seems like everything is constantly changing, the problems we are wrestling with are different, deeper, and more intractable than in the past. Leaders, however, don't slump during tough times. They don't coast during good times. And they don't shy away from challenges, even when the road gets rocky. They are expected to take charge, innovate, help their teams get the job done and then do it better incrementally and that’s leadership in this new normal.

In times of great uncertainty and change, leaders do not just choose to be leaders. Leaders must lead. This is because the unquiet world we live in is faster, flatter and more transparent than ever before. Today's leader must create a culture of emotional mastery, generate whole brain thinking and take the lead in societal change by creating new forms of leadership, teamwork, and collaboration. We need a new kind of leader - one who can help us tackle complex challenges and get things done; one equipped to lead through uncertainty, ambiguity, and change.

During the time of pandemic or even after it, it is important to redefine just who and what leader is. Effective leaders of the new normal need to be updated on the expanded toolkit of capabilities rather than just embracing the traditional qualities of previous leadership.

Since early 2020, a lot has changed and a shift to remote working took place, making leaders alter their leadership styles into more efficient and effective styles that can work in both remote and actual workplace. The face-to-face interactions and opportunities to establish or develop stronger bonds between employees have declined in most organizations.

Many organizations have managed to adapt and succeed amidst the pandemic, but some companies are still unraveling what they should do to step up. Leaders are having to navigate work in a way they never anticipated while employees are adapting to hybrid working. It might look like the process was smoother for others, but in reality, everyone is figuring out ways to strive and continue.

Managing teams and leading effectively when change is inevitable is quite challenging and is crucial to organizational performance at the same time. But, according to the Inc. Magazine, the following are the 7 Keys to Effective Leadership in the New Normal that you can use to lead your team in 2022 and beyond:

1. Be proactive in their efforts, and deeply care about the people around them.

Identifying employees’ emotions and how they are doing became harder for leaders because of the digital barriers of remote working. Checking in on people must be done in a thoughtful way like asking the question "How are you doing these days?" and actually taking the time to listen.

2. Sharing how they're feeling, as well.

Being transparent with your employees about how you truly feel is another good thing you can do to make them understand you well. Being an effective leader does not equate to being emotionless; rather, a leader who can experience a wide range of emotions while still making sound, logical business decisions.

3. Creating a safe environment where people feel a sense of belonging.

Creating a safe space for your employees means you encourage them to be vulnerable and to feel a sense of belonging despite the hours they spent working for your company. With this, they might find fulfillment in their work.

4. Solidifying their mission--and living it out in the world.

Everyone cares about your mission, be it your customers, employees, or investors. Simply because they want to know where their time, energy, money, and support are going. Being able to create a mission that fit into larger narratives and ties into current events can impact how people see your organization.

5. Be willing to adapt.

Making and running through hypothetical questions such as "What would happen to the business if X happened? What would we do if we lost Y?” or what ifs questions that can help you adapt and prepare for uncertainties happening around you especially during a global crisis like Covid-19.

6. Be optimistic about the future, without sugarcoating the present.

In the new normal, business leaders must be thinkers and doers—they must have a strategic approach that's grounded in reality. Everyone needs to feel that they are going somewhere certain and safe. Being brutally honest, while acknowledging both good and the bad at the same time, as well as the growth and the lessons would be a good approach in terms of optimism.

7. Over Communication.

In a perfect world, leaders wouldn't have to communicate very often because everything would work like clockwork. But in reality, there are challenges that threaten to undermine organizations’ success. In the new normal where businesses are operating in an age of hyperconnectivity and instant feedback among employees, customers, and partners, staying on top means leaders must over communicate. This means making sure people are receiving the information they need and when they need it.

This isn't new. Communicating well has always been important for successful leadership. However, it should rank even higher now in this disruptive environment.

There are many ways and examples of how to be an effective leader in the new normal, but if you’re still uncertain, you can start by assessing yourself and identifying what your people need the most. In today's complex and dynamic world, leadership is not just about strategy, or vision, talent or having the right people. Rather it's a matter of having the right mindset, being open to change, and in a way being humble by listening and learning from your team.

Here at Customized Training Solutions, we help leaders sustain and develop their own leadership skills through coaching, training and consulting. Book a free 30 minute call now to find out how we can help you!


Zak, H. (2020, August 27). 7 Keys to Effective Leadership in Our New Normal. Inc. Magazine. new-normal.html


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