The COVID-19 generation of leaders

23 April 2020 Posted by: Patrick Woods Posted In: Risk management, Crisis management


Arguably, if ever there was a time to think outside the box it is now. As leaders we should be using some of the time being freed up in our diaries to strategize. The process should begin by accepting that we will never have all the answers and so should involve all our colleagues who can and will want to help. The key question to be addressed is what the major implications of the COVID-19 crisis will be for our businesses and whilst it’s impossible be sure, there are three potential risks that stand out.

1. The chances that the economic impact will be significant.
2. There are likely to be major obstacles to moving around and this is likely be particularly so in
economically disadvantaged areas.
3. The resulting disruption is likely to last for a considerable period.

These, and other assumptions will form the basis of future possible scenarios that we as leaders will need to draw up in addition to setting out the paths required to get there. Each scenario will require rigorous testing. The importance of the latter cannot be overstated – for many it will already be obvious that more attention will need to be given to organisational resilience than has hitherto been the case.

This is undoubtedly a challenging time to be a leader. The individuals we lead will be craving certainty where little exists. Good leaders will retain a sense of calm, tell it like it is whilst not overdoing it and will navigate their organisations successfully through this crisis.

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