Leadership skills and learning during the COVID-19 crisis

Why leadership skills and CPD are important in this crisis

Is now a good time to enhance your leadership skills?

While this is a good idea in practice, many people are juggling working from home with childcare, looking after vulnerable people and tackling additional work pressures. For some, they have never been so busy, or worried. It’s important to be realistic and sometimes ‘just getting by’ is enough. You may need to adjust downwards as this CMI article explains.

Cash flows and cash scenarios are vitally important, but beyond that there are things you can do to develop yourself and your business. Many employees are currently furloughed or their businesses are disrupted considerably. Also, things are likely to return to some kind of ‘normal’ at some point. For these people, now is a great time to plan your CPD while you are able to take advantage of the extra time you may have available.

Learning new skills can not only prepare you for the uncertain times ahead but also help your mental health. Having something to additional to focus on and the ability to connect (virtually or not) with new people goes a long way to focusing the mind, and allows you to grow and reflect at a time of uncertainty.

Usually, leaders spend their time working ‘in’ the business as they don’t have the time and distance to work ‘on’ the business. Now is a great opportunity to think more reflectively and use the time to work ‘on’ the business.

In addition to this, the economy is likely to take a big hit during and after this crisis, potentially leaving a more competitive job market. Organisations will require adaptable, qualified and resilient leaders who are able to innovate, seize new opportunities and adapt.

Leadership in a crisis

Leaders are particularly important during a crisis. Being a leader at the moment not only requires you to embrace sudden advancements in the use of technology and innovative ways of working but also requires more awareness of mental health issues and the need for flexible working arrangements.

While you may not have the time to develop yourself and may have to focus your efforts on firefighting the current situation, try to take time to reflect on what you’re learning from this, look for new opportunities and look at what you can control.

One thing you can control is your self development, mindset and skills. By focusing on what you are learning from this process, combined with studying and accessing leadership expertise, you can emerge from this a stronger, more compassionate, resilient and innovative leader.

Who will thrive the most?

There will be businesses who are innovating and thriving at this time due to an increased demand or change in direction. Training and development is particularly important for those people who have to suddenly ‘step up’ and become a leader.

Going forward from this crisis, resilience is going to be a bigger deal for businesses and leaders. Leaders need to embrace the reality that this could be a long term change to the way that they work and start looking at how they can adapt to the changes ahead.

In a recent CMI webinar, Sir Charlie Mayfield, leader of ‘Be The Business’ said:

“These times of crisis are often when people sow the seeds of the future. This is a time to be looking actively to find opportunity in crises and the ones who thrive will be the ones who innovate and look for opportunities to embrace new ways of working.”

Leadership courses are a great way to learn how to apply key leadership skills at times of uncertainty and show that you have helped yourself and others, taking the time to look at your business and find new opportunities.

We will all have a story to tell when this is over, the question is, who will have learned the most from the experience?

What can the 20Twenty Leadership and Business Growth course offer?

Chartered Managers on average earn an extra £152,000 over their career and bring an additional £365,000 in added value to their organisations.

The 20Twenty Leadership courses offer a range of skills that can not only help organisations through managing a crisis but also enhance the ability to reflect on experiences and learn from them. The course uniquely includes a ‘Strategic Growth Project’ that looks at specific areas of a new or existing business and helps you to devise and execute a plan to grow or improve certain areas of the business. The leadership course also looks in depth at areas such as innovation and creativity, which are essential skills required to lift businesses out of difficult times or start new ventures.

In addition to this, the 20Twenty Leadership course offers comprehensive teaching of accounting and finance skills. These skills will be essential in ensuring the finances of any growth project or change of direction are up to scratch.

The course also offers 1-1 business coaching and development of emotional intelligence and mental resilience. These are key skills required for effective leadership and will be an excellent way to hone in on your strengths and weaknesses. Compassion and emotional intelligence has been so important during this crisis so far and many people and businesses are likely to come out of it more resilient, compassionate and understanding of other people’s situations. 

Related Links

CMI – better managers webinar – learning during the COVID crisis

CMI – how to maintain your personal development in a crisis

CMI – five techniques for prospering amid uncertainty

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