Intelligent CXO Issue 6 - Page 28



Since the pandemic started , employees ’ and customers ’ behaviours have changed – some permanently . Those leaders who successfully steer their organisations over the next few months and years will retain all of the harder business capabilities from the past . But they will also excel at the softer skills that have come to the fore in the past 18 months . Dr Andy Brown , CEO , ENGAGE , explains how leaders can become compassionate and fair bosses while pushing their business forward .

Successful leaders are the sum of many parts , but with changing times those parts have evolved . The pandemic has fundamentally shifted how we engage and how we lead , meaning the factors on which we select leaders , promote them and reward them must also shift .

Traditional leadership frameworks based around big picture thinking , results focus , building high-potential , inspiration and innovation are no longer enough on their own to drive success in the new future .
As wellbeing and safety have become the primary concerns for employees over the past 18 months , leaders who ’ ve also demonstrated traits such as humanity , humility and transparency have thrived . They ’ ve created huge amounts of goodwill among their employees and built trust in their leadership teams – key drivers for engagement , productivity and adaptability .
A balanced leadership model
But , even before the pandemic , our work and wider research proved that softer skills have become as critical to leadership success as the harder skills of capability and competence . Getting the balance right is where the challenge lies . Today ’ s successful leaders have achieved this balance : a clear focus on purpose , vision and strategy , and a core set of human leadership behaviours .
These leaders view engagement as a companywide priority ; they get people on board with the
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