As business owners and operators we are now on our knees with the state of the economy. The corporate sector crippled by the effects of COVID. That and the fact ‘lockdown’ seems the obvious solution for many governments desperate to slow the pandemic.

The immediate reduction of trade continuing to change the corporate landscape. COVID dictating the terms with countries now desperate to vaccinate the majority of communities before any form of confidence is likely to return.

Leadership is now front and centre for every major decision. From Federal Government to CEO’s, as leaders we can not escape the bombardment of decisions needing to be made daily.

We sit glued to the television sets at 11am daily in Australia awaiting the governments COVID update. Nervous absolutely. Watching on as state and national leaders, health ministers and police tether on the verge of breakdown. Utterly broken by the pandemic. Weighed down by people’s lives and livelihoods at risk. My heart quickly softening. Recognising the enormity of the task at hand. That and the fact there is a real human-being behind every leader.

Community Confidence

The business sector has been in a state of angst now for over 15 months. Lockdowns, reduced trade and staffing shortages rocking almost every industry. Yet our confidence in those leading for the greater good continues to grow. Why? The landscape from government to private enterprise turned upside down. Leaders with a heart filled with empathy, trust and vulnerability gaining influence.

According to the Australian Leadership Index the federal government has not been seen in a favourable light since the inception of ALI in 2018 however since COVID 19 this has had a positive shift.

Leadership during COVID-19 | Australian Leadership Index

The perception of ‘leadership for the greater good’ continues to be seen by the community in a positive light.

In a time when stress, anxiety, depression and mental health concerns skyrocket, the right style of leadership is changing perceptions of leaders for the better.

So is this a new leadership style born from COVID 19 or has it always existed?

Servant Leadership Emerges

No matter our opinion, shaping as a real positive from the pandemic are organisations being lead by outwardly focused leaders. Looking to satisfy community needs in a time of gross uncertainty. From shopping centres to the healthcare sector. Organisations gaining most traction in the corporate space are those focused on community well-being well before corporate profits.

Some argue this style of leadership has existed since Christ walked the earth. The gospel clearly stating “just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28. Yet it seems this pandemic is a new catalyst. Forcing change for the better. Leaders recognising the tensions at play and reacting accordingly.

 Excitingly, many of the world’s largest corporates such as Marriott International, Nordstroms and Starbucks are embracing servant leadership. A model leadership guru Robert Greenleaf made known in the 1970’s. Forbes still ranks ‘nurturing a strong corporate culture’ one of the greatest concerns for the modern leader. The ability to create a great work environment essential post COVID.  Much more than just an upside-down organisation chart. The essence of servant leadership involves the leader meeting the teams legitimate needs rather than wants. Building influence with staff through serving them daily. Ultimately setting the team up for success.

The Fruits of Servant Leaders

The successful COVID leader is a more empathetic outwardly focused leader. With every business owner, CEO, and entrepreneur the story seems the same. Facing the unknown with nervousness and concern. Whilst employees continue to lean on their leader more than ever before. Appreciating leaders who demonstrate vulnerability as they face these dire times. Leaders who although anxious, fearful and uncertain continue to put the needs of their employees at the forefront. Demonstrating trust, kindness, courage, self-control, empathy in bucket-loads and a genuine love for their employees.

The term surge capacity explained by Professor Bryant, Scientia Professor of Psychology at UNSW.

“Surge Capacity is a pool of resources that we can draw on in challenging or stressful times and in the short-term those resources are what help us perform.”

In these very uncertain times many of our valued employees continue to live in a state of flux. Unable to refuel hence expiring their surge capacity. Surviving on limited resource to keep them going.

At Grace Curve Consulting we are encouraged by corporates looking to investigate alternate leadership methods to support their teams and businesses through these trying times. Our business partners benefit from our heartfelt approach to teach the skills and character necessary to lead well. We would love to support you through these trying times and discover a new way of leading for the future together.

Stay safe and best wishes for your business.

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