As the world begins to collectively envision a post-COVID reality, leaders around the globe are faced with the challenge of plotting a new course for getting back to business amid a future full of unknowns.
Sara M. Johnson, the director of IU Executive Education at the O’Neill School, says that uncertainty is causing confusion, a lack of clarity, and even a shaking of confidence for many leaders worldwide. That’s why Executive Education and Consulus, a global innovation consultancy headquartered in Singapore, have partnered to host a free international webinar on August 27 called “Pivot with Courage.” Attendees can register for the event on the Executive Education website.
“You must have courage to lead in times like these,” Johnson says. “We’ve had to pivot to our current virtual world. We anticipate that—around the globe—we’ll pivot back to something that is not what it used to be but also is not completely virtual. This pivot will not be a simple process.”
Johnson says part of leading with courage means those in charge must shift their focus to what truly makes their organizations successful: their employees.
“In times of crisis, you really have to focus on the people, as opposed to revenues and meeting financial goals,” she says. “Those are important, but you have to understand that individuals are experiencing this pandemic differently. Understanding those unique experiences and learning ways to adapt your leadership can help you not only build your own confidence but also confidence within your workforce.”
The webinar will help attendees develop their skills in leading with empathy, prioritizing their people, and reinforcing with their teams that the organization can return effectively and successfully to the future work environment.
“It’s holistic leadership,” she explains. “If we don’t focus on the people, we’ll lose them. We need to reassure leaders that focusing on the individuals will help them survive some of the current challenges. They need to do that not for the sake of the organization’s bottom line but for the sake of their greatest asset—their people—and the impact they have on the community in which they work.”
This isn’t Executive Education’s first step into the world of global leadership training. The team has worked with governmental delegations from Vietnam who came to the United States for leadership development. They also teamed up with a university in Brazil to provide leadership training for government officials there.
But this new partnership is the next step in expanding their existing international offerings. The August 27 global event will be the first in a series of webinars to help leaders effectively transition to a post-COVID version of how the world works.
“It’s another dimension of our portfolio of services for leadership development,” she says. “Executive Education and Consulus both have resources and knowledge that we can bring to the world including what it means to have the heart of a leader and develop behaviors to ensure a smoother return to business—from the new normal to the next normal.”