How The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Reshaped New Leaders

The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the way we think about leadership. The traditional leader model, where one person is in charge, and everyone else follows them, no longer applies. Now it's more like an orchestra with many people working together to create something great.  

While the majority of businesses are still oriented to the concept of one leader, today, it’s time to evaluate whether the one single business pilot makes a good leader. The pandemic situation has made it easier for everyone to distinguish bad leaders. It’s pretty much clear when a ‘leader’ makes the right (or rush) decision within a company. 

However, even the most skilful leader may lose a bit of balance when facing a crisis. Only when they embrace the situation can they step up and act quickly to work on the matter. A good leader will learn fast and put more effort into harnessing the situation.

This is how the COVID-19 has changed our outdated perspective about leaders.

1. Leaders don’t have all the answers; they keep learning

There is a false notion that leaders must be the smartest people in the room. This often results in potential leaders backing down due to a lack of confidence in the idea of a know-it-all leader.

However, good leaders are aware that they know nothing and thus keep learning more from their surroundings. On the other hand, bad leaders always think they have all the answers, and no one should question them. In contrast to the former, this mentality won’t get the leader anywhere as they can’t accept the truth that people, even in the most powerful position, should keep on learning. Especially in a crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders are forced to think outside the box. They need to learn new things and act accordingly to provide the best solution for the company.

2. Leaders tap into a social movement

Leaders can create a stronger connection with employees, encouraging them to go the extra mile when they offer support for big goals or let friends and family know about notable achievements. These small gestures of inclusion help build loyalty among teams and positively affect engagement levels, which ultimately leads to better results than if leaders didn’t care.

It′s crucial to stay true to corporate values in a way that the willingness to proactively learn and apply customer feedback goes hand-in-hand with the company’s overall goals. Achieving this connection is difficult, but by constantly asking how things are going for everyone on your team, you can start building trust point-by-point until employees feel more comfortable saying what they want in order to get work done.

When leaders establish personal connections with team members through getting to know their interests or simply acknowledging their talent, getting a strong team isn’t an understatement anymore.

3. Leaders know how to thrive

During the COVID-19 pandemic, getting the work done, especially on meeting the expectation, is often a terrifying prospect for many business owners as it means potentially crippling your business financially or otherwise damaging its reputation. This has left many business owners with the same question: “What would I do if that struck again?” The answer is simple: leaders who know how to thrive in chaos will pretty much succeed.

Leadership in crisis is about the ethics and morals you can pass down to your subordinates when they hit a rough patch. You would need the leadership skills that help you thrive in the most challenging situation by ensuring these elements: communication, affirmation, support, trust, tenacity, and strong-willed.

4. Leaders consider external factors into account

In the past, traditional leaders only focused their time and energy on internal matters, like running operational challenges and meeting a goal. While this isn’t wrong since they need to focus on something they can control, this mentality often hinders most leaders from dealing with external factors that directly influence the whole business, like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

However, with the recent pandemic hits, leaders need to spare their time in analysing an external perspective that can help them be aware of any potential changes coming from markets, geopolitical events, or social patterns. This will allow the business future to succeed. 

This is possible if the leaders are plugged into 360-degree feedback, mentoring, and training. Leaders need to operate with a high level of agility and flexibility to respond quickly to emerging opportunities and changes. They should also take advantage of trends that will change the competitive landscape.


The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped modern leadership. In the wake of this unprecedented crisis, we have seen a rise in new leaders who are more collaborative and less authoritative than before. 

Although it’s hard for any individual or group to be prepared for everything when facing an unknown threat such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the dread situation has helped many of us learn and adapt to a new change that forces us to be good leaders.

About the author: Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos.

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