August is a month which signals that beginnings and ends of seasons are around the corner. Wherever you are in the world, change is on its way – not just in the turning of summer into autumn and winter into spring, but also – COVID allowing – in terms of the very real prospect of returning to our offices and those of our clients more often that we have done over the past eighteen months.
The ‘hybrid leader’ – namely one who runs teams with individuals who are both in the office and working from home – is what we all will become.
Putting to one side legal, social and cultural considerations around this whole topic for a mere moment, I have been talking with leaders about what this means for our ability to engage and communicate with our teams, the business and our customers.
What’s changing? Some of us may think simply ‘nothing’. We operated a hybrid business model pre-Covid. True. Except now we have Covid. Forever. And with this global health pandemic has come profound change to the way we think about, connect with, deliver at and get joy from work. A pulse survey of eleven global brands with whom I’ve worked this month has revealed that all of them are extremely worried about their top talent becoming flight risks, about re-igniting customer relationships that have gone quiet, and re-hiring and re-engaging existing employees. This is the strong and consistent thread of challenge coming from every single one of them.
So what does this mean for us as leaders and influencers? As always, leadership is all about communication and influence. The concept of the hybrid leader has been much on my mind in 2021, and so over the coming months, I will be exploring how our ability to persuade and influence others needs to step up given the necessity as a leader of demonstrating empathy, exquisite listening, curiosity, humility, agility, courage to make mistakes and flexibility. As never before.
I have yet to meet a leader who doesn’t think they have these skills already. However our challenge is how we will need to take these up yet another level to meaningful convey them; be it remotely or face-to-face.
Look out for more information here and across my social media every month and let’s start the conversation.
In the meantime, I have a question for you: are you ready to become a hybrid leader?
Until next time….