Weekend Leadership Reading about leadership lessons from the pandemic

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Weekends are time when things slow down a little. Your weekend shouldn’t be two more regular workdays. That’s a sure road to burnout. Take time to refresh yourself. Take time for something different. Take time for some of that reading you can’t find time for during the week.

Here are choice articles on hot leadership topics culled from the business schools, the business press and major consulting firms. This week there are articles about leadership lessons from the pandemic.

From Blair Sheppard and Susannah Anfield: The urgent need for sophisticated leadership

“The pandemic has highlighted a series of paradoxes inherent to the work of leaders. What comes next will depend on how well they face up to them.”

From Joji Tokunaga: 3 ways COVID-19’s uncertainty will impact business in the future

“In 2020, we learned a great deal. Perhaps most importantly is that very little is for certain, particularly in business. It’s much harder now to make predictions about the future or business sustainability with confidence. As the world navigated the first months of our ‘new normal,’ many business leaders realized that with all of this uncertainty, the best thing we can do is offer clarity.”

From McKinsey & Company: The vital–but vanishing–role of middle managers

“Flatter. Faster. Leaner. The COVID-19 crisis has once again trained a spotlight on the value of middle management. What happens after the pandemic ends?”

Thanks to Smartbrief on Leadership for pointing me to this story

From the London School of Economics: Preparing for the world after COVID-19: leadership lessons from crises and discontinuous change

“The COVID-19 crisis is not only ‘one step further’ in an established direction, but it stops and even reverses most patterns of economic and social development, including megatrends like urbanisation and globalisation. Lorenz Graf-Vlachy takes a look at how firms have historically dealt with crises of discontinuous change: how pharmaceutical companies responded to organisational crises in the form of product-safety problems, recalls and regulatory threats; how newspaper publishers responded to online news; and the early reaction of hotels to sharing-economy platforms like Airbnb. He draws key lessons for leaders trying to steer their businesses away from irrelevance amid the pandemic.”

From Julian Birkenshaw: When will everything get back to normal? It won’t

“The changes the pandemic has wrought won’t all simply reverse once Covid is behind us. This phenomenon explains why.”

From McKinsey & Company: The nine traits of future-ready companies

“The rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has executives everywhere hopeful for the pandemic’s end. Some are now asking how their companies might emerge stronger—making permanent the survival-mode improvements that brought speed, flexibility, and purpose, while avoiding bureaucracy. Our research finds that achieving these aims requires embodying nine characteristics that collectively describe who the organization is, how it operates, and how it grows. Start here to help your organization thrive in an increasingly winner-take-all world.”

From Chief Executive: Lessons Learned Leading Through Pandemics

“The chief architect of the U.S. military assistance to the 2014 Ebola Crisis offers six best practices to create and sustain team alignment, trust and agility.”

Every Monday, I do a blog post about business reading and business books. Follow this link to my review of Leading in the Digital World.

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