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7 Keys to Effective Leadership in Our New Normal

Here's what it takes to lead a team in 2020 and beyond

Source | | HEIDI ZAK

If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that leadership in today’s world requires a wide range of soft skills.

Employees don’t want to work for inauthentic founders, executives, or managers. Team members don’t feel empowered when working with people who don’t have a reasonable level of emotional intelligence. Partners, vendors, and clients don’t want to be associated with companies that aren’t transparent about the way they do business–and the masses don’t want to support companies whose actions don’t align with their mission statements. 

Being an effective leader today, and especially while navigating our “new normal,” is about honesty, plain and simple. It means being honest in your day-to-day interactions, honest in the way you do business, and honest about the status of the organization. As many leaders learned back in March (including myself), these are not easy times to navigate–but being open and transparent with your team is crucial to long-term success.

Personally, I believe the coronavirus crisis will change the way people think about leadership forever.

Here’s what I think being an effective leader in our new normal will look like, moving forward.

1. Leaders must be proactive in their efforts, and deeply care about how the people around them are doing.

When you work in an office, you can generally assess when somebody is having a bad day or if they’re upset about something.

Digitally, this becomes much harder. Both at the leadership level as well as the managerial level, we have to be more thoughtful about how we check in on people. This means proactively asking questions like, “How are you doing these days?” and actually taking the time to listen. 

Instead of hopping on a Zoom call and immediately diving into work-related items, take a moment to show you care.

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