One year on – leadership in the pandemic 23 Mar 2021

One year on – leadership in the pandemic

A year ago today the UK entered a national lockdown. Rather than a year of stasis, it has been a year of accelerated change.  Leaders have faced governance tests at an extremely high rate under fluid, challenging circumstances.

The disruption of COVID-19 revealed many who possessed the ability to adapt and help ensure the coherence and survival of their organisations. A few were able to guide their organisations to help their organisations adapt and thrive.

The astonishing development of a number of vaccines now allows us to look ahead, and as such it is interesting to consider which characteristics are shared by those leaders who have thrived, and what organisations could look for when it comes to hiring leaders to navigate the challenges of the future.

Showing, not telling

While great leaders have always been able to tell their staff why their organisations justified their commitment, great leaders of the past year have co-created that culture of commitment with their staff through collegiate and inclusive behaviour. Leaders must demonstrate they can receive as well as they can transmit.

Hire for character, not just experience

While experience is valuable, it can sometimes inhibit adaptability to suddenly different circumstance. Evidence of a long time at the helm may be reassuring to those seeking a new CEO, but if that experience was on calm water, it may not translate to stormy seas.

Integrity, innovation, creativity, and resilience have shown themselves to be shared by those who have best navigated recent challenges and organisations would be wise to test these traits equally with past performance during recruitment their process.  

Purpose comes to the forefront

The pandemic has led many people to question what is important to them. The celebration of service and a recognition of the value inherent in organisations that contribute to society has never been more salient. The potential of this moment cannot be understated, and Perrett Laver is committed to supporting our clients to find those able to contribute best to their organisations with the result being, in myriad but measurable ways, a better world.

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Academic Medicine and Health Sciences Arts, Culture and Sport Board Chief Executive Global Chairs And Professors Global Development Global Non-Profit Head Health and Social Care Higher Education Higher Education and Research Industry Research and Development Philanthropy, Communications and Engagement Schools and Education Organisations Vice Chancellor

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