We are beginning to see the light at the end of this long, dark pandemic tunnel. Vaccinations are rolling out. Positive test result statistics are on a downward trend. Some people are beginning to emerge from their quarantined homes. We are seeing signs of hope and possibilities for gathering in-person again with those we love.
What does this mean for leaders? Leaders have been leading in these unprecedented times making decisions they have never had to make before and likely also learning new ways of leading and innovating their own skill set. They have pivoted so much that they have experienced times of dizziness as a result. Does this mean that the way we lead will finally return to our normal rhythm of leadership soon? Frankly, I don’t think so and I am hoping that we don’t.
The days of having all the answers or expectations to have all the answers are gone. The ones who will successfully lead in the post-pandemic climate are the leaders with the most powerful questions – then stand ready to listen deeply to those surrounding her/him. The leader who builds and empowers the best diverse team – diverse in culture, thought, generation, personality, leadership styles, gender, and backgrounds. The leader who is willing to be challenged by this team – who encourages pushback and growth to and from the team. The leader who is willing to experiment – building a culture of innovation and experimentation as the norm. The leader who stands strong in the mission for the organization and leaks vision continuously – yet is flexible and adaptable in the strategies for how this occurs. The leader with a healthy personal rhythm of rest, reflection, learning, working hard with a priority focus, investing in others, family, and play – building a culture and expectation of those s/he leads to do the same.
Just like our organizations and churches will never be the same post-pandemic, those who lead them can’t be the same. The culture (and therefore the workforce) is hungry for a transparent, vulnerable, and collaborative leader. People appreciate good communication and leaders who inspire others. It is this type of leader who will successfully lead churches and organizations out of the pandemic and into a new, healthier future full of potential and possibility. My prayer is that we are all aspiring to grow into the type of leaders to do just that!