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3 leadership traits we desperately need in 2021

This year will not look all that different from 2020. The hope is that leaders are able to display three fundamental traits that would mitigate the extended consequences of this brutal pandemic


In leadership, there are results and opinions. Most people view their own opinions as facts, but they are mostly expressions of their preferences, values, or beliefs. Sadly, people tend to opine on leadership and leaders without taking the time and effort to scrutinize a leader’s track record, and without fully understanding their leadership potential.

This is true in politics, which explains why many countries in the world are poorly governed and some are even considered failed states. In business, the average experience people have of work and their bosses is far from positive. Engagement levels have been low for decades, people join companies but quit their bosses, and 35% of Americans would happily take a pay cut if they could get rid of their manager. Edelman’s most recent benchmark barometer on trust in leaders revealed a new dip in scores. Roughly one in two people distrust their leaders. 

A global pandemic makes matters worse. A devastating virus that poses both a health and social crisis means the stakes are high, failure is evident and consequential, and a leader’s performance is hard to disguise for the entire population of global leaders is facing the same challenge. COVID-19 has provided a metaphorical standardized leadership test which leaves the bad ones with nowhere to hide. 

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