The Transforming Role of Leaders In Crisis Times And Beyond

An increase in trends related to work-from-home has made companies revisit their leadership competencies and leadership development.


Covid-19 has transformed life, impacting us personally, academically, and professionally. With work from home becoming the new norm, not just in the present times but also in the years to come, most of the companies are completely adopting work from home policies to ensure the safety of their employees.

But, the transition hasn’t been as smooth as it seems. The rapid shift to working remotely over the digital medium has brought several challenges for organizations. The companies are facing issues of effective performance measurement, management, and accountability from the employee's end. In such a scenario, businesses and communities are looking up to their leaders for guidance to help navigate this pandemic with success.

The transaction from managing a team in an office versus online management and monitoring is very different and therefore, companies are reviewing their leadership competencies and reassessing the leadership development in their organization. Although, we have already entered into the space of the digital world, the impact of which is the invisibility of the employees and therefore it is important to find alternate and innovative ways to recognize and reward great performance and also deal with the challenges. Leaders today must be aligned with the needs of their businesses and their people.

Gone are the days when companies used to consider only skills, hard work, and dedication to choose their upcoming leaders. With changing times, every organization is looking to hire enterprising employees having multiple skill sets to cope up with situations like the current pandemic, ensuring continuous business and harmony within the organization. Some of the leadership traits that have grown from the current times are:


The employees are the most indispensable part of an organization's structure and sometimes it becomes impossible to manage work and the household activities at the same time. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the leaders in the organization to understand and empathize with the employees. The leaders must create an atmosphere of sync and harmony in the organization.


The organizations are now looking for leaders that are adaptable to the current situation and can make people under them work and perform effectively. These are new times of learning for everyone and leaders and employees need to be able to adapt to the new ways of working and new ideas and newer opinions from everyone around.

The new normal is pushing individuals towards self-management and building collaborative working relationships remotely.

The organizations too have rapidly changed their working styles and transformed, making it much easier for employees. For example, a Survey by Mercer presented that only 22% of organizations were ready for mass remote working before the lockdown and within a month of the outbreak, close to 40% of organizations had implemented company-wide mandatory work-from-home policies.


These are tough times when the economy is massively hit and all companies are sailing in a survival boat. The need to have a leader with a vision to guide the boat to the shore is increasing. It is one of the most promising traits that the organizations are looking at when choosing the next leader. The leaders need to have a long term vision that can be attained by setting short term competitive goals.

John Adam very rightly said that “Every Challenge is an opportunity in disguise” and this is the exact situation of leaders in today’s unprecedented times. It is a situation that none of the leaders have ever experienced and therefore, it is becoming more challenging. These challenging times are learning in itself and will go a long way for young managers who are yet to be chosen as the next leaders. These learnings will give the current and the upcoming leaders insights on softer skills, evolving them into better leaders of tomorrow.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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