CEOs have shifted how they lead by expedient and ingenious ways while confronting this unique moment
Leaders should look at the broader picture, otherwise they will fail big in this complex time of global pandemic, said Andres Snaider, founding partner and CEO of Nextant and Avanxo at a webinar on Tuesday.
He added that leaders should embody a better approach: to overlook macro issues for the time being, while trying to understand from a micro perspective – the individualistic method to be exact.
Snaider made the remarks at the very last session of a webinar titled "Leadership for a New Era," organised by the EMK Center in association with University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh (ULAB) and The Business Standard under the Youth Employment Campaign.
At the programme, Snaider shared how he is muddling through with the changes caused by Covid-19 as a CEO to more than one organisation.
The current challenge for businesses and their CEOs includes forcing an abrupt dislocation of how employees work, how customers behave, how supply chains function, and what ultimately constitutes business performance.
Confronting this unique moment, CEOs have shifted how they lead by expedient and ingenious ways.
Leaders of the future should be empathetic and aware of employees' vulnerabilities. Further, they should be the best listeners in the room. In order to be a future leader, great listening skills are a must.
Not only listening to them but being present or available in the situation, otherwise listening will not work. Leaders should strive to be trustworthy because people need hope that can only be ensured by leaders' trustworthiness, Snaider pointed out.
Asif Uddin Ahmed, acting director of EMK Center and moderator of the session, agreed with Snaider that accepting one's-self as a victim of the pandemic and focusing on self-care is important in order to be caring towards others.
Therefore, micro or personal level management is indispensable.
From his organisational experience, Snaider further shared, "Productivity has increased significantly since employees started working from home, but it can be a double-edged sword, so we must be very careful."
"In the near future, leaders will be those whom organisations can trust blindly and support no matter what, as long as they promote organisational values," he added.
In response to an audience's question, Snaider advised leaders to put people at their top priority list.
The session ended with a closing remark from Professor Imran Rahman, special advisor to ULAB's Board of Trustees.
The previous day, as part of a youth employment campaign, Edward M Kennedy (EMK) Center organised a virtual session.
At the programme, discussants said that under normal circumstances, though organisations have undertaken multi-year investments, they have not made as much progress as they would like with regards to workforce diversity, especially in the leadership ranks.
Questions about who is accountable for workplace diversity, how to source diverse talent and how to manage diversity have stunted efforts.
The session focused on discussions about how managers and leaders understand the link between diversity, equity and inclusion and business outcomes.
Alanna Levenson, team accelerator and leader coach – a representative of People and Communities (HR) at Cisco, was the key speaker at the session.
The session kicked off with a welcome speech from Asif Uddin Ahmed, acting director of EMK Center.
Professor Imran Rahman, special advisor to the Board of Trustees of ULAB, and Joshua W Camp, cultural affairs officer of US Embassy in Dhaka, also participated in the session.