The expeditious global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has eclipsed other present-day endemics in both scope and size. Even today, organizations continue to grapple with adapting to the rapid rate of disruption and uncertainty.

Anticipating this new normal of living under unprecedented challenges, leadership approaches must cultivate a high-performance culture that embraces agility and ambiguity at work. To understand how leadership roles need to evolve, we will examine the following questions:

● How has COVID-19 changed the workplace culture, and how can an organization have its say in it?

● What will the significance of resilient leadership be in giving direction to business organizations in this matter?

● The need for a leadership-oriented work culture and why is it more pressing than ever before in the post-pandemic era?

The Workplace Culture - The Effect of COVID-19 on It - The Sought-After Solutions for an Organization

Returning to work has kept even the most astute organizational leaders wondering how best to rebuild the organization's spirit and re-boot the desired culture and norms of the workplace.

Apart from the trends of talent crunch, layoffs, and furloughs, for better or worse, the workplace culture has changed collectively. There are three areas where the organization can unlearn, learn and re-learn together.

1. Through Rapid Reskilling for Relevance

The post-COVID work culture requires you to build and develop a lifelong learning mindset to prepare you to stay connected for the future. Digital nomads or natives? The receptivity to the adoption of new technologies and skills will create new value within the organization.

2. Developing an Agile Work Culture.

An agile culture is beneficial as the organization embraces that staying nimble can help one transition in change better. While the competitive landscape may echo heightened stress as everyone rushes to regain their market share, culture is the invisible glue that unites teams across silo structures to adapt as the market changes.

When leaders role model the agile mindset and behaviors to stay agile, staff are encouraged to follow and adopt 'Agile' practices such as scrum across the organization.

3. Changing Management Is Part of Leadership

Resilience is a humanitarian attribute to meet setbacks, adversities, and trauma and then recover from them adeptly. Similarly, resilient leaders must be able to sustain their energy level, even when they're under pressure.

Resilient Leadership – Choosing to Evolve in Change

A shift to the conventional leadership approach to meet the demands of an unpredictable and fast-changing business world began at the beginning of COVID-19.

For instance, the traditional "control and command" style has become unsubstantial and out of time today. Now, most people seek someone resilient, collaborative, and agile to grasp the ever-changing notion of business models.

Hence who is a resilient leader, and how does that show up at work so that others can be inspired to adopt the practices essential to building resilience?

Who is a Resilient Leader?

A resilient leader is someone who can meet adversity or even failure and recover from it with determination. They are overcomers in major difficulties yet authentic to face up to their vulnerabilities. Learning to fail fast and choosing to recover from missteps are cornerstones of resilience.

How to Become a Resilient Leader?

Adaptive leadership is the practice of mobilizing people to tackle tough challenges and thrive. To be an adaptive leader, there are at least four pre-conditions:

1. Organizations are not dysfunctional:

As Jeff Lawrence says, "There is no such thing as a dysfunctional organization, because every organization is perfectly aligned to achieve the results it currently gets."

No one who tries to name or address the dysfunction in an organization will be popular. What is dysfunctional for you may be functional for another department. When you adopt a systems view of the organization, you begin focusing on how to mobilize and sustain people through the period of risk that often comes with adaptive change rather than trying to convince them of the right way toward the solution.

2. Learn to ride the wave of disruption

Leaders encourage and help teams to navigate through the uncomfortable zone by making sense of the response and promoting a spirit of curiosity and experimentation. Stepping out of the comfort zone can be an uphill climb; hence engaging the entire team to support each other fosters camaraderie and a spirit of collaboration.

3. Lead with the heart, heads, and hands

If leadership involves will and skill, then resilience requires courage and conviction to take action and also the stay on course. Leading with the whole being of not only the head but the heart and the hands reminds us to bring humanity into the workplace and reduces the imbalance of focusing only on performance.

4. Refresh the vision and the purpose

Clarifying the values that orient your life and work and identifying larges purposes to which you might commit are courageous acts. Leaders who help their team to reflect on their personal values and align them to the larger goal of the organization not only reduce misalignment at work and the dissonance between the meaning of work for the individual.

Keys to Building Resiliency in Leadership

Establish Resiliency in Your Operating Principles

Identifying core operating principles that undergird resilience for your organization can help improve decision-making and problem-solving in ambiguity. Decide which ones are critical for your organization. Examples include the following:

● Diversity: Having a wide array of offerings or capabilities that reciprocate differently in a dire situation.

● Prudence: Developing or building an early warning signal to detect a potential threat to the organization

● Adaptability: Having the capability of adjusting to a critical situation by experimenting with limited resources, identifying correct responses, and amplifying them properly.

Make digitalization the enabler of change.

Even before the unbecoming circumstance instilled by COVID-19, digitization was considered the primary growth driver for businesses.

The leader of an organization must anticipate and articulate how digitalization becomes an enabler to maximize machine and human capabilities synergistically. This can help them increase the agility of a certain working process or culture while reducing erroneous mistakes accordingly.

What does Resilient Leadership look like? Staying Grounded as You Lead

As the leader of an organization or a team, an individual must have some fundamental attributes as a whole. These may include -

● They must design the strategies both from their head and their heart. It'll also be crucial for them to be empathetic and understand the issues their employees are going through. They must plan everything by keeping both in mind.

● A resilient leader must stay focused on the horizon and anticipate anything, whether it's positive or negative, with a pinch of salt. The leader must be able to foresee the problems that may occur and have a plan for them.

● Finally, the leader should be able to take decisive action within a matter of seconds. It must be done confidently and courageously. This will help them stabilize their organization to meet the crisis they are dealing with.

Imagine a workplace where every staff carries resilience on their sleeve because this trait is an important life skill to develop. The value of a resilient leader can improve the health and wealth of the organization in three ways:

Reason 1: Curiosity Begets the Innovative Mindset

A leader will always be curious about everything. This will inculcate openness and diversity of view and engage new possibilities and optimism, which are essential to the growth mindset.

Reason 2: Collaborative Meeting of the Minds

A leader who stays resilient is an advocate for a team approach to problem-solving and leaning on the wisdom of teams, not just the all-star employee. This builds a healthy dose of diversity and drives innovative thinking as a competitive advantage for the organization.

Reason 3: Co-creating the Vision Together

The vision is the impossible dream, and leaders that establish a strong vision casting in the organization provide the compelling why. Most beneficial in tough times, the deep purpose of why we do what we do can sometimes be enough not to give up or take shortcuts.

The Bottom Line

It is true the COVID-19 pandemic is still testing the efficacy of organizational leaders. No one is unscathed, and leadership will play a critical role in creating an organization where everyone is a co-creator of the future together. A leader that enlists the hearts of my people can create intangible assets beyond the skillset but the attitudes and beliefs of the employees.