The Pandemic Gave Us a New Perspective

I would like to thank Profiles in Diversity Journal for recognizing me with this prestigious award. I am honored to be included with the other impressive leaders and appreciate the Journal’s focus on the continuity of this award during pandemic times.

The pandemic has taught everyone that things can change around us extremely quickly, and as leaders we must adjust even faster to new information, new standards, and new rules for how to operate in a rapidly changing environment in order to get our teams acclimated to the changes. We have to be ahead of the change curve in order to help others navigate it at the speed that matters to them. We have to be available, calm, and able to disseminate, with confidence, information that may have just become available to us minutes before. This is so different from the traditional focus on preparation and planning that had dominated business in the past.

During the pandemic, I have also learned that working differently day to day is necessary and have adjusted my leadership style as a result. Communication frequency and intensity is a great example of one of those adjustments. While in the past I may have relied on formal, large scheduled meetings for my teams, now I organize more thematically and include a strategically broader set of attendees, so that the meeting is effective, even if one of the key leaders is out sick. This has helped me continue to drive key initiatives without as many schedule changes and has also exposed more people across departments to the topics that matter in my organization.

As a society, we didn’t gain many positive things from the pandemic, but we did gain one important thing, and that is perspective. This experience has helped a lot of leaders focus on people and what’s most important to us, rather than the small things or the habitual but unnecessary things that for so long defined the way we worked and what we valued in leaders. Flexibility and the resulting focus on adjusting one’s leadership style to fit the needs of today’s workforce is a refreshing new theme, and I believe it is here to stay.