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Versatile leaders have been worth their weight in gold over the past twelve months. If you haven’t had ‘versatility’ as one of your middle names, then it’s likely you and your team will have struggled during the pandemic.
But why is being a versatile leader so important, especially now?
There are four main areas where a versatile leadership approach has been most important during the past twelve months – physical, personal, work, leadership.
Adapting to the physical changes
Just over a year ago most workplaces changed, almost overnight. Leaders had to come up with alternatives to their physical workplaces. But ‘one-size’ was not going to fit all… leaders had to find solutions to a myriad of different home-working solutions, as well as changing current workspaces if working from home wasn’t an option.
Having to embrace a wealth of technologies that enable their workforce to work from home has identified those versatile leaders who have been pro-active in their adoption of a different way of working. In the near future, it will be versatile leaders who integrate these online tools into a hybrid working environment effectively.
Being personable and human
For many, mental health has been pushed to the forefront of work considerations during the pandemic and versatle leaders will have been most successful in supporting their teams’ mental stability.
Everyone will have coped differently, and certain team members will have needed more support than others. Being able to recognise who needs what, and adapting the leadership approach, is an attribute a versatile leader will have had to call on in abundance this year.
An open approach to business changes
Work is very different now. Clients have come and gone, contacts might have dried up and supply chains have been disrupted. The last twelve months have seen many businesses having to pivot away from their traditional work streams in order to survive.
A versatile leader will have been able to anticipate where the business needs to change and acted accordingly by constantly adapting own workflows to reflect rapidly changing customer concerns. It hasn’t always been easy but having an open approach, rather than a closed one, seizing opportunities rather than lamenting losses, will have helped many businesses to survive and even thrive.
Strong leadership skills
To be a versatile leader in a remote-first environment, leaders need to balance the partly contradictory leadership roles of empowering the team, whilst also holding them accountable. For many, this means learning new leadership skills and investing more time in building and maintaining trust with the team members working remotely. Working remote-first in reality demands more leadership, not less.
At CLP we offer a virtual Remote First course that allows leaders to explore their own leadership versatility in the virtual world we all now exist in. We focus on the 4 areas illustrated above in a pragmatic manner and support leaders in discovering new ways of working and their own strengths as versatile leaders.
Thank you for reading our latest Bite Size – our bi-monthly blog where we explore a topic in bite size form – short, sharp and easy to digest.