The pre-pandemic world of work was known for its transactional and transformational leadership. Successful CEOs provided their staff with the right resources, tools, and incentives to help their company thrive and grow. Bosses needed to have all the answers, they were often in ‘command and control’ mode, they travelled around the world to meet and greet employees and customers and regularly got together with their own leadership team to agree on top-down strategies for the company.
But times have changed. Our workplaces, the style of leadership, and the way we do business have undergone a fundamental reset following the cataclysmic effects of Coronavirus and the resulting uncertainty that affects many businesses.
The future of work is flexible. To make it happen, however, we’ll need Emotional Intelligence
The pandemic being a new situation, many company leaders are poorly equipped to deal with the demands this new era of work makes on them as people and on their character. While leaders of the future will still require the ‘traditional’ leadership skills, competence and experience that brought them to the top of their companies, they’ll also need a greater degree of Emotional Intelligence (EQ), if they are to build trust among their teams and nurture and motivate them.
While EQ is not a new concept and many talented leaders would have already applied it in their role, its usefulness and necessity have become all the more important with the advent of the COVID pandemic. Coronavirus has therefore shunned a harsh light on leadership shortfalls and where leaders need to improve.
But why does leadership need an update? According to our global research published in June, the future of work will be flexible. Three in four employees would appreciate more flexibility and a mix of office-based and remote working going forward and 75% of them say it is important for companies to retain their newly acquired flexibility and autonomy.