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It’s the everyday leaders your organisation needs

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With vaccines in fast development, the coming year looks promising for the Pharmaceutical industry. Unfortunately, many other sectors aren’t faring so well, and my friends in the big four consulting firms are painting a bleak picture for automotive and consumer goods. You only have to turn on the news to see the real pain these industries are in. Yuichi Kodama, chief economist at the Meiji Yasuda Research Institute, says the damage to the economy is already done, and despite the excellent progress, the numbers indicate we’re only halfway back to a full recovery in Japan.

But despite the setbacks, many unlikely organisations are finding ways to thrive. From the depths of the pandemic, new leaders have emerged, striving to do more than only speak about the “new normal” they’re standing up to drive their companies forward. Coming from all levels of the organisation, these new leaders share a unique set of qualities. It’s almost a hunger, a drive that pushes them forward despite every setback. These new leaders are attempting to do more, to be better, and it’s their actions that are putting their companies on a path to real success in the years to come.

Lacking any concern for the “how,” it’s their crystal-clear clarity on the “why” that’s so contagious. Their energy, their passion, it’s a certain level of craziness that drives them forward. These new leaders are springing out of bed in the morning with a fire in their belly. With the ambition and focus to overcome challenge, after challenge after challenge. More than just the apparent leaders, those with their rousing speeches and commanding presences in an organisation; I’m excited about the everyday leaders, those willing to do more than their part. Turning off the lights as they’re the last to leave, clearing the empty water bottles after a long board meeting, all the little things that add up to make a big difference. They’re happy to do it.

These new leaders see the end goal, and they know it’s bigger than just one person. To win, to really win, they know they need to give more. They’re not afraid to be authentic. Admitting their mistakes, their vulnerabilities, and their human fallibility draws people closer. The fact they’re sharing like this isn’t a weakness, it’s raw and honest, and it works in their favour. Triggering a powerful and intense loyalty that can only be born in the difficult circumstances we’re in today. These new leaders are willing to make the tough calls that may upset some people because they know it’s their job to drive the business forward when others freeze with apprehension, uncertainty, and indecision.

But that’s not to say these new leaders are fearless, far from it. They share the same doubts and concerns as the rest of us. The only difference is they choose to step up, despite their fears. They can see the end goal. They’re conscious of what’s within their control, and they understand what’s not. The trick is to act anyway, while having the courage and self-awareness to make the tough calls. It’s a different style to what we’re used to from a leader, but I honestly believe this new approach will lead us into the future and it’s imperative we get on board and join the party.

If history has taught us anything we know this isn’t the first pandemic, and likely not the last. We’ve faced challenges with the 1918 Spanish Flu, world wars, cold wars, hot wars, famines, and a long list of others. Managing a crisis is part of life. The obstacles we’ve overcome have shaped the world we live in, and while we may be at breaking point again, it’s in moments like these when our true values are tested. It’s moments like these when we can show what we’re really made of. It’s moments like these when the real leaders get a chance to shine. Will you stand up, and start working towards a brighter future?

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