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Leading Through A Pandemic

I recently received a report from the Institute of Coaching (IOC) titled “Leading with humanity, the future of leadership and coaching.” In this document, nineteen IOC fellows, executive coaches interviewed thirty-three executives in five countries, all of whom were invited to reflect on what they have experienced and learned about leadership throughout the pandemic.

In summary the report suggests that leaders’ focusing on serving humanity create a path to organizational resilience, reinvention, and positive performance. Central to this theme is the need for compassion during a shared crisis, with a shift from viewing organisations as being mechanistic, solely focusing on driving profit, to being a place where relationships are built and consolidated.

What was most reassuring was the notion that organizational resilience depends on investment in individual resilience and well-being. More specifically, organizations need to support personal well-being to help their workforces be prepared and navigate crises.

Five “fundamentals of humanity” were revealed in the experience of leaders interviewed:

  • The need to expand consciousness. Awareness is key in navigating crisis and disruption

  • The importance of cultivating relationship. The vital human need for social connection and engagement needs to be fostered.

  • Supporting wellbeing at home and work. Self-care enables a workforce to be fit for crisis .

  • Integrating diversity within an organisation. Diverse experience and opinions build strength

  • Enabling agile culture. Agility is a sum of the above

“Given our age of accelerating and unpredictable change, where the only certainty is that we will continue to face ongoing global disruptions, supporting our own and others’ humanity may well be the crucial recipe for sustaining individual and organizational success.”

Reading between the lines, leaders who engage in a “coaching approach” to leadership are better positioned for success in uncertain times. Some of these skills involve: identifying and pursuing values, building a diversity of perspectives, identifying blind spots, having the ability to simplify complexity, building strengths and cultivating relationships.

A few questions to reflect on:

How have you grown and what have you learned over the last two years?

How can you develop and stay agile in this next phase of “the new normal?”

How could a coaching approach build your capacity?

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