Leadership Lessons from COVID-19.

Leaders are decision-makers. Being decisive is an essential attribute of an effective leader. When China first announced her battle with the coronavirus, some world leaders did not see the need to prepare ahead and left their borders porous. Leaders must be decisive. Being decisive is the stronghold of leadership. Leaders who are not decisive are the one without the full understanding of their role or lack the knowledge of the situation or are afraid of failure from the required decisions.

When leaders are faced with an awkward situation, their ability to quickly weigh the available information and take an absolute position is the strength of their leadership character and effectiveness.

The world is abundant—the abundance of the fund and all other resources needed to deal with the global pandemic. Leaders must think and believe there are resources for them to be able to make impacts. The Nigerian private sector raised a whopping sum of N20billion outside donations of equipment for testing, isolation centres and volunteers. This shows that resources are available before the crisis and what was missing was the innovation that would have tapped into the supplies ahead of the pandemic.

Perhaps the donations coming as the emergency fund would have been raised and facilities that are hitherto lacking would have been available even if not to the number and magnitude required to curb the COVID-19. Abundance thinking will help willing leaders to see no restriction if they desire to change the world and make it a better place. Thinking abundance of desire, resources and capacity allow leaders to take ownership for change, become intuitive and regularly reflect, enhance in-depth and comprehensive collaboration with other stakeholders. Most if not all the business leaders who made sumptuous donations are abundance thinkers in their businesses and private lives. Abundance thinking is a reliable cornerstone of leadership effectiveness.

The link between decisiveness and abundance thinking is responsiveness. Leaders must be leading from the frontline in the time of crisis. It was said that the fastest way to gain leadership is to solve problems.

Without adequate and positive communication, leaders’ responsiveness, abundance, and decisiveness will not have any meaning and give hope to the people.

The world has reset itself. There is life after COVID-19. World leaders are rolling out economic stimulus plans to avoid long term recession as a result of the lockdown. What does that tell you? The world is not over yet. Leaders see beyond the present crisis and make plans simultaneously. While leaders give hope in their communications, they cannot afford not to see and know the road ahead. The world is now on the same page with every power-be it super or ordinary power fighting one common enemy. Unfortunately, it is an unseen enemy called the coronavirus.

The COVID-19 will be gone just like the Influenza of 1918. What will stay after the event is how far our leaders have seen and acted during the crisis. While some people will see doom during the crisis, leaders should be seeing what can be adjusted to make life better, what can be changed in the way we work or do things, what legislation is necessary and what foreign relationship is required to rebuild the economy and make life more bearable for the citizens. COVID-19 is a leadership call and journey with its lessons. The lessons are invaluable inputs for leaders and countries that can turn the tides in their favour.

–written by Babs Olugbemi