The inrush of the pandemic took away from the ties that fastened leaders to the status quo of thinking and doing. “Structures and Systems” that supported organizations before were left behind in the evacuated office, and organizations pivoted toward their people. Leaders, now forced by the WFH to operate without the complete suite of the traditional factors of organization, suddenly found themselves in uncharted territory.
And so, a chance, has arisen for leadership to rethink itself spurring renewed attention to what a leader should have and on a leader’s work.
Views like autocratic leadership or the belief that a leader is the enlightened one who treats the rest of his fellow people as machine elements with preset precise performance, awaiting to be switched on by his instructions or orders, have been exposed by the pandemic as rickety, impractical, and even dangerous.
Evidence of how companies tackled the crisis, on the other hand, suggests that the pandemic has tipped the scales in favor of the soft-side nature of organizations bringing to the fore the people approach to leadership. How then in this approach should we view leaders?
The leader should be viewed as an architect of purpose, an integrator of effort, a teacher of learning. He is one who works constantly to cultivate trust and humility by making himself a model example. His constant concern is to bring about the ingenious self of his people turning them into lovers of knowledge and self-actualization. More importantly, however, he identifies an overarching purpose for all stakeholders to share and sets himself in the front to serve it.
Such a leader is a catalyst in his people’s operations, a respecter of talent and the whole self, an enabler to make his people achievers, [...]