The Leadership Challenge when returning to work
As we return to work, we are aware that it is not leadership as usual. There has been a major shift in how employees work and the meaning of work in their lives. Many may feel a little disconnected from work and their colleagues.
The challenge for leaders is to nurture the trust relationships they have with their people and teams. New skills are needed to engage and inspire online as well as in-person or in a hybrid situation. But leaders too have been out of the office for a long period and may feel unsure or disconnected. Will they be able to impact people in this new environment, building trust, credibility, and confidence in their teams?
Embrace a key leadership behaviour!
To be successful you need to embrace your leadership style. You need to be yourself. Be more human. Be more authentic. But how do you do this?
Recently, I came across this video of parents and children answering the question “If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose?”. The parents chose famous people or people they admired in some way. But children choose their parents every time. There was a realisation that what the children wanted more than anything was to spend time with their parents. The people they trusted the most, felt safe with, and were accepted for who they are. What our people need now is to spend time with leaders that build trust, create a safe environment and appreciate people for who they are. This is Authentic Leadership and if you embrace it, your team will want to join you for dinner.
- Ask yourself “why do I care about what we do?” and speak from this place when you engage.
- Do not come with all the answers but listen and appreciate
- Demonstrate that it is OK to be yourself and there are more things in life and work than the bottom line.