“The Hope Pandemic” series addresses the changing business climate and how we can go digital and shape a new world of sustainability, kindness and community.
I received an intriguing call from a senior manager I periodically coach. He said the Coronavirus and the shift to virtual communication upended his leadership style and called for a new set of skills he never had to develop.
He wanted guidance on how to navigate this crisis environment.
I understood completely: I had seen him in operation: he was expansive in his communication, loved troubleshooting on site with different teams, thrived being around people and loved social interaction with customers and stakeholders.
He was an extrovert leader now hemmed in an introverted business environment. (Same dynamic that has introverts embracing isolation and extroverts going crazy).
After a few (virtual) sessions I explained the two paradigms at play in his situation: it wasn’t just his Leadership self that was under attack, it was him, his Self self that was upended. They needed alignment.
Basically, Self was not managing the isolation well, and it carried over to Leader. The result: an erratic, vacuous leadership style that manifested (virtually) through to his staff and organization.
The plan was to convert this peacetime manager to a wartime (read: crisis) leader.
He needed a brand new leadership toolkit!