When he wrote in 1980 his worldwide bestseller “Managing in Turbulent Times” the management guru Peter Drucker would probably never have imagined the kind of turbulences the Covid-19 crisis generated almost 40 years later. Recent examples of where inappropriate leadership styles can lead companies -or even entire countries- remind us of how critical it is to have the right leaders in place and broadly justifies the major place held by articles on Leadership in the management literature.
At Intercontinental Executive Search, we are fully conscious that for any CEO, COO, GM, or C-suite position, the definition of the sought-after leadership style in the profile of the ideal candidate will never be fully the same. We have recently reviewed a series of position papers published by leading strategy consulting firms such as BCG, McKinsey, or Deloitte. We are pleased to share with you their major findings. Should you wish to read the original articles, you will find here below the relevant links. To start with, to the impatient reader’s attention, we have selected a few charts that are particularly striking as they brightly highlight the characteristics of the new leadership skills that are required to succeed in Covid-19 and even more in post-Covid-19 times. Interestingly enough, a strong convergence appears in the changes that are needed.
In a nutshell, kind of a consensus seems to emerge as regards the major leadership skills that are most needed in the Covid-19/post-Covid era:
(Source: NGS Global)
As far as the CEO role is concerned, more specifically, they should reconsider their top priorities, go for a new agenda and be ready to drastically change their habits as well. Here are the more frequently quoted attitudes CEOs are expected to adopt to be successful in Covid/ post-Covid times:
As stressed by Deloitte, “the resilient organization will be the one that has built the attitudes, beliefs, agility, and structures into its DNA that enable it to vault forward—quickly.
The leadership attitude shifts from reinventing ways of doing business in the interim to a pioneering ethos, one in which you focus on inspiring and empowering the team to follow you. Resilient leaders convene the full ecosystem to collaborate and define the journey together. In other words, it is about collective agility. At an individual level, five of the most common traits in resilient leaders are adaptability, preparedness, collaboration, responsibility, and ethics: adaptability quickly connects resources to meet today’s challenges; preparedness connects tomorrow’s resources to potential future scenarios; collaboration connects the whole system; and both responsibility and ethics connect individuals, organizations, institutions, and society”.
Boston Consulting Group. (2021). Human-centered leaders are the future of leadership. In.
Broadbent, M. (2021, January). Five Leadership Attributes Essential For 2021 and Beyond.
Dewar, C., Keller, S., Sneader, K., & Strovink, K. (2020, July 21). CEO leadership for a new era | McKinsey.
Marzouk, A., & Busson, J. (2021, February 4). Un bon leader d’entreprise est visionnaire … mais aussi humain.
Rao, H., & Sutton, R. (2020, July 9). From a room called fear to a room called hope: A leadership agenda for troubled times | McKinsey.
Renjen, P. (2020, December 2). The journey of resilient leadership | Deloitte Insights.