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Inicio  /  Blog  /  Leaders in the context of crisis

Leaders in the context of crisis

by Julia Lamaison | Executive Search Manager

Reading time: 3'

It is unquestionable. In many ways, the world today is very different from what it was a year ago. The importance of developing certain skills in organizational leaders has emerged with great force in these times of change. Many of these changes are here to stay. And what no leader can afford is to put those skills aside, when all this is over and it is just a memory. 

The great decision makers are today under a huge magnifying glass, challenged, observed. Exposed and immersed in an enormous demand for effectiveness. Probably no other recent crisis has revealed the lack of a new type of leadership, ethical and effective, as the one derived from the COVID-19. Companies look for these new skills in their leaders when adding new decision makers, and in searches, therefore, a higher level of professionalism, attention to detail and capacity to evaluate soft skills is required. It is not enough to manage. Today, leaders with a high level of commitment to the common good are in demand. 

"THE GREAT DECISION MAKERS ARE SEEN TODAY UNDER A HUGE MAGNIFYING GLASS, QUESTIONED, OBSERVED. EXPOSED AND IMMERSED IN AN ENORMOUS DEMAND FOR EFFECTIVENESS"

For psychiatrist Enrique Rojas, an ethical leader must be balanced, manage the emotional, be positive about the future, be coherent, have an attractive personality, be able to present his ideas and have a space for personal reflection in which he can define his strategic vision. In the new normality, these are some of the requirements on which companies focus when hiring their executives. We could say that, today more than ever, leaders are expected whose leadership is based on reflection and inquiry, focusing on the transformative capacity of the present. They should be ethically and socially responsible, committed and capable of establishing standards and cultural frameworks that guide ethical behavior. The task when recruiting becomes more thorough, exact and focused: these are times to add value to a company. 

A truly successful leader understands that his human capital, his people and his collaborators are there to be guided and accompanied. A leader serves his team. It is important that he or she has a vision of real commitment to the organization, creating a vision that inspires those who work for and around it to actively participate in key goals, objectives and the overall mission. That they are able to quickly assess the gap between senior management and employees, and think of innovative strategies to encourage teams to act and feel satisfied as major contributors to the success of the organization. 

"A TRULY SUCCESSFUL LEADER UNDERSTANDS THAT HIS HUMAN CAPITAL, HIS PEOPLE AND HIS COLLABORATORS, ARE THERE TO BE GUIDED AND ACCOMPANIED. A LEADER SERVES HIS TEAM"

Internal communication is relevant in companies, largely determined by their leaders. Therefore it is necessary that they are able to communicate their emotions, their thoughts, and that they are totally synchronized with the messages delivered and received. A leader must have the ability to communicate effectively at all levels of the organization. 

Every day companies are looking for more people who know how to delegate, who can empower their teams. Encourage managers and employees to hold each other accountable for their plans and to focus on achieving collective results. Leaders are expected, not micromanagers. 

Hard times are when you need people who can manage change, who can adapt quickly to the transformations the market is proposing and who can communicate it, so that the whole organization goes after the necessary changes through visionary leadership. The ability to manage talent involves the ability to inspire teams and bring out the best in people. It is about providing the empowerment necessary to ensure that people can succeed.

Particularly in today's climate, leaders need to be able to handle the highs and lows, and continue to motivate their teams. This requires a commitment to positivity, even in times of extreme difficulty; leaders must encourage teams to think and act positively and instill passion in their work, regardless of circumstances or conditions. 

Companies value honesty and integrity. While leaders must be positive, when things are not going well, the truth must be communicated, whether you like to hear it or not. Subsequently, leaders must provide the vision and encouragement to move the organization forward. They must inspire confidence in their teams, without falling into arrogance. They should be seen preaching by example, not just by words.

"IN TODAY'S CLIMATE, LEADERS MUST BE ABLE TO ENDURE THE UPS AND DOWNS AND CONTINUE TO MOTIVATE THEIR TEAMS. THIS REQUIRES A COMMITMENT TO POSITIVITY, EVEN IN TIMES OF EXTREME DIFFICULTY" 

However, management is not the same as leadership: as leadership grows, the need for management decreases greatly as people become driven by vision. Leadership itself is not about operating procedures, metrics or work styles, but about vision and empowerment. 

However, leadership positions often require management skills. Many executives need to learn how to be visionary leaders, with a strong ability to define strategy and drive execution. This requires great versatility that allows the executive to set clear objectives and goals, and communicate them effectively. 

Leadership is, in short, the set of managerial or directive skills that a person puts into play when it comes to managing an area and its work team. And the skills needed to be a leader today are changing. Companies and individuals must adapt. We are in more demanding work environments, which are going through a crisis. We understand that one of the guidelines to have more certainty when choosing our leaders is to focus, from the beginning of the process, on a professional search. These are key selection processes for businesses, therefore, specific methodologies are needed to ensure that we reach the people who meet the characteristics, with an assessment of skills and core abilities to navigate in this new uncertainty.
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