Leadership has never been more important and it's never been harder. There has been a massive shift in the way workplaces function. The pandemic has forced companies to take a step back, re-invent and change. While there is a lot of uncertainty as to how things will shape up post-pandemic, we do know one thing for sure - workplaces will never go back to how they were. Therefore we ask the all-important question: are you prepared for leadership in the new normal?

What is most important for leaders to do, in order to thrive in this change? Here are our top three strategies you can develop as a leader, to prepare yourself for leadership in the new normal.

1. Invest in personal growth

Many of us think and act on autopilot much of the time. As Marshall Goldsmith famously wrote, “What got us here will not get us there.” Most leaders have a fixed idea of what effective leadership entails, and these ideas have been giving them results. However, now that’s a thing of the past.

The biggest key to success now is to unlearn fast. It's the first step to prepare yourself for leadership in the new normal. This is a good time to assess your leadership strategies, your strengths, your gaps, your fears, your triggers, your limitations, and allow yourself to change.

Allow people to give you insights, feedback, and support. The ‘new normal’ requires you to drop the mask of strength and invincibility and display loads of openness and compassion instead. This will truly galvanize growth!

2. Communicate to connect

As a leader, communication has been the biggest challenge with teams working from remote locations. While the virtual world may be tech-driven, as humans, our need to connect still remains strong. Reach to the heart. Remember, the most powerful tool of communication ever invented, is listening!

Check with your teams how are they coping with WFH realities? What are the fears, frustrations, and challenges emerging with the ‘new normal'? Leaders need to be more human and turn this into an opportunity for connection. Setting up virtual team meetings, frequent check-ins, encouraging feedback and suggestions will be high-quality practices for the emotional & physical well-being of employees.

The new normal leadership is about maximizing the human connection which can outclass any strategy or digital transformation in the workplace and beyond.

3. Old reality v/s new reality

If we continue to accept outdated definitions of certain values, we cannot really embrace the possibilities of the ‘new normal’. Values are what we hold as important. We need to ask ourselves ’what do we want to hold as important?’ We need to redefine what professionalism, reliability, empathy mean to us in this new world.

If our new values don’t give more space to our human side – our need to connect, to feel appreciated, to be authentic, to challenge the status quo, we cannot succeed in the new reality. Whereas the old reality focused on predictability, the new reality is bound to thrive on change and creativity. It’s time to ask yourself, leadership in the new normal - are you prepared? What can you do differently? Above all, this is a chance for incredible leadership transformation.