2020 had a devastating impact on organizations worldwide. For leaders, it has undoubtedly been the most challenging year to navigate and manage. All these challenges have set the stage for certain leadership behaviors crucial in 2021 (and beyond).
As humans, we are conditioned to want to be led. When it comes to a crisis, everyone looks for someone to point them in the right direction.
Good leadership behaviors are not what others expect out of you.
Instead, it is about honing the leadership qualities that will assist you in leading your team towards achieving the desired organizational goals.
For leaders to expect other people to display certain traits, they must practice and promote those behaviors.
Great leaders understand a fundamental but often ignored fact that is best highlighted by a quote by Gruenter and Whitaker:
The work environment of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.
The work culture of 2021 will be vastly different from anything that we have seen before.
A remote, pandemic-ridden, diversity-influenced world will demand effective leaders who are empathetic enough to understand people but tough enough to adapt to any unforeseeable circumstance.
Such characteristics can be developed and nurtured to help cement your role as an essential part of the team and become a better leader in general.
6 Top Leadership Behaviors That Are Necessary For 2021
Let’s look at the 6 noteworthy leadership behaviors that every successful leader will need in the post-pandemic world.
Being resilient is one of those leadership skills that can’t possibly be substituted for anything else.
Today’s organizations are fast-paced, chaotic, and continually evolving. These changes demand a leader that can remain calm, provide solutions, and steer the team in the right direction- even in the middle of a crisis.
2020 proved how great leaders are the ones who are adaptable and ready to face any major yet unpredictable situation.
Without resilience, a leader will be poorly equipped to deal with and react to the everyday challenges that are imminent in the corporate world.
Fortunately, resilience is a quality that can be built. It requires some vital attributes, such as the following:
- Grit: To attain success, having grit is even more crucial than even hard work. When a leader face failure, they must have the spirit to brush off the setbacks and instead see it as a learning experience.
- Develop problem-solving skills: Problem-solving skills in one of the most important things you must develop from your own learning and experience since everybody will be expecting you to provide the solutions.
- Establish goals: It might seem challenging to get through any crisis or challenge, but setting SMART goals can help you see the situation rationally.
- Embrace the change: Having a positive outlook towards things can help you be more confident and help the team get a strong sense of positivity and motivation.
Every team member has their own personalities, needs, skills, and character.
Outstanding leadership is about showing your team a unified approach that takes everyone’s interests into account before continuing.
Consequently, the work environment of 2020 is vastly different than anything we’ve seen before. People are demotivated, work remotely, and thus have drastically different work schedules. Hence, versatility will be a vital leadership behavior going forward in 2021.
Today’s leadership style should focus on remaining relevant and connected to the changing needs of the workforce.
Similarly, the leader should refrain from keeping their traditional perspective on hold and work to develop new ideas and thoughts that reflect today’s changing landscape.
3. Cultural Intelligence
In 2021, diversity is more than a fad.
Suppose a leader wants to attract the top talents and ensure the happiness of the existing workforce. In that case, they can’t afford to ignore the importance of diversity and inclusion.
A diverse workforce needs a leader who can understand their varying needs and complexities in their daily lives.
Additionally, great leaders recognize that there is a significant risk of being incorrect on the diversity front. They thus should be open to criticism or views from underrepresented groups.
Decisiveness is an essential leadership behavior that is seldom discussed.
In times of great crisis or change, there are many essential decisions to be made in a short amount of time. A leader who couldn’t make up their mind would be a liability in such extreme situations.
A decisive leader is someone who can make decisions with speed, clarity, and accuracy. Consequently, the decisions taken have been effective in addressing the issues.
Such high-strung situations call for a leader who can remain calm and is well able to perform under pressure.
Post-2020, the workforce will probably never be the same again. Employees were subjected to unimaginable stress and anxiety under the threat of a pandemic, layoffs, and loneliness.
Leaders of this new era will need to be empathetic and understanding about the plights of the workforce.
Similarly, employees need an authority figure who can identify and respect the unique challenges that team members face daily. In times of change and uncertainty, people need change leaders to connect on a personal level.
Inspirational leaders know that in times of difficulties, people seek a motivator rather than a realist. People want someone who can infuse energy, passion, and motivation when the going gets tough.
Inspirational leaders are those who, by the sheer power of inspiring the workforce to do their best, constantly push the business forward.
Such great leaders have a strong understanding of the human psyche and recognize that disengagement will profoundly hamper the overall performance of the employees.
Future leaders should concentrate on building trust and loyalty through the means of making people believe in themselves. That will ensure that every team member will be happy enough to bring their best self to work.
According to you, which leadership behaviors are the most crucial in the post-pandemic world? Let us know in the comments below.