We’re almost halfway through 2021 and although the pandemic still has a firm hold on our day to day lives, its grip is loosening. With a vaccine shaped light at the end of the tunnel, we are beginning to see threads of normality begin to sew themselves back together.
Many of us are now used to working in a ‘new normal’ era, and the idea of changing things again can be daunting. People will be turning to their leaders for guidance and advice to navigate the next steps successfully.
The pandemic has provided a rare chance to redefine leadership. Here are our top 5 ideas to become a successful leader in 2021:
Identify where you need to improve
Those that can recognise both their strengths and weaknesses have the best chance of making positive changes to improve their leadership skills forever. Self-development is constant. When you feel like you’ve hit a plateau, take a moment to reflect on where you are and shake things up a bit. Make sure you don’t take things too personally. Talk to your peers, create an online survey, or simply ask your team to speak openly about where improvements could be made.
Depending on your experience and level, we have a range of accredited leadership and management courses to develop your skills and enhance your position as a successful leader. From Team Leading to a Level 7 Diploma in Management and Leadership, we have a course to suit everyone.
This one may seem obvious given the circumstances, but change is not easy. There is a difference between embracing change, and only making changes because you are forced to. COVID-19 has forced change. According to a report by CEMS, 87% of leaders felt that COVID-19 had affected their business and teams*. While it certainly took a while to adjust, the most successful leaders are those that embrace change and are carrying the positives forward into the rest of 2021.
Focus on wellbeing
You need to have all your ducks in a row before you can begin to lead others well. When you consistently show up as a strong leader, it will be respected. Those you lead will recognise your ability, allowing you to build a strong and cohesive team.
Whether you are in charge of two hundred people or two, it is key to think about the overall well-being of yourself and your team. According to the Office for National Statistics report on coronavirus and homeworking, nearly half of employed people in the UK worked from home at some point in April 2020. Recently, there has been a significant shift to the importance of our mental health. Here are just a few ways you can make sure your team have the information they need:
- Provide links and telephone number to support networks or charities
- Recognise the importance of work/life balance
- Check-in regularly
- Encourage your team to use the support tools available
- Develop trust and be open to new ways of working
Say ‘thank you’
Never underestimate how much a simple thank you can mean. Whether your team have been working from home or have been out there in the thick of it, acknowledging their contribution is key to becoming a better leader. Their hard work, adaptability, and patience have been invaluable. Without them, the business simply would not have survived. Those that feel appreciated are more productive and happier, creating a better working environment for everyone.
Lead with empathy and understanding
Every leader is different. Through this challenging time, many businesses have shown their true colours and the impact of their response to the pandemic will last in people’s minds for years to come.
The expectancy that people will just ‘get on with it’ is fine on paper, but doesn’t work in the real world. A lack of human communication has left some people feeling overwhelmed. The same four walls and lack of routine have created distance, and as a leader, you need to understand the social impact too. Overall, becoming a successful leader in 2021 is more about human connection and empathy than sales figures and PowerPoint presentations.
The Manager Training team can provide expert guidance on which of our courses are best for you. Simply get in touch via phone, email, or webchat to take the next steps in your career today.
*You can download the full CEMS Guide to leadership in a Post COVID-19 world here.