The challenge of leading in the New-Normal.What type of leadership do companies need?

By Iciar Sanz, partner at Madavi

In times of disruption such as we are living at present, two antagonistic events always occur. On the one hand, employment is reduced and on the other, there is the need to attract and keep the best talent. This is even truer in these moments when organizations find themselves fully immersed in the process of digital transformation.

To adequately manage talent will be a challenging priority for companies in the immediate future, in the so called “new-normality”. What type of leadership is required in this type of context?

First, if this crisis has shown us something it is that we are vulnerable and interdependent, that is to say, that individually each of us are anything without each other. Without reciprocity the ecosystem deteriorates. In this sense, the job of a leader is to create the scenario in which everyone can and wishes to contribute to the future, and feels part of it.

The leader should also lead thinking in the common good; in a leadership exercised through service to others and not to oneself. In these times, the more humane leadership is what is imposed. A humane leader is the one who is very close to his people, who supports them and who acts in a natural and authentic fashion. The one who creates a human connection with his team and not simply in his role as boss.

Today, more than ever, an appreciative leadership

Today more than ever leadership needs to be appreciative. This means focusing your vision on the strengths of your people and your organisation. Appreciative means that you always look for the best in any circumstance, for its potential, however, complicated it may be.

Everyone who leads has the potential to do so in an appreciate manner, logically using one´s strengths and one´s own style. Some leaders are more

inspirational some are more process based. What changes is the focus: working from abundance rather than from scarcity.

This type of leadership is based on appreciative inquiry. That is to say, that companies grow and develop at a greater speed as long as they investigate what they do have and what they do want rather than investigate their problems.

To apply appreciative inquiry to people means to describe their strengths and everyone else´s in order to combine them. We have been told that we have strengths and weaknesses and that is not true. We only have strengths. Weaknesses are what we do not have. What can you do with what you do not have? NOTHING.


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