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Your Teams Are Changing: Time to Evolve Your Leadership Skills

Much has been said about the changes brought about by the pandemic, but leading a team also looks different than it did before last year. Here are some things to consider as you usher your staff into their next chapter.

by Teri Takai and Phil Bertolini / March 9, 2021

There has been endless discussion about the rapid move to remote work, how technology leaders responded and lots of speculation on what will come next. But one thing is for sure: There is no going back. Now, your typical week starts with a full schedule of remote meetings where your team has difficulty connecting, the video connects but the audio doesn’t, or vice versa. You have met family pets and, on occasion, been part of virtual school sessions. Your homes have become a part of your work life.

Many say that they cannot wait to spend at least part of their time back in the office away from their home and family. Others relish the solitude of remote work but know all too well that they will have some need to be in the office in the future. That time is coming and whatever that hybrid workplace looks like, it will be a different working environment than when everyone left — not just the physical setting but the way that people interact and collaborate. 

Leadership has changed dramatically and growing your leadership skills is paramount to success. Here are some fundamental leadership questions to consider as you change the way you lead:

  1. How does my leadership team manage deliverables and ensure accountability?

  2. How do we build a culture of collaboration and communication?

  3. What communication tools and processes are essential but not overly burdensome?

  4. How do we build and maintain our team culture?

  5. How do we become empathetic leaders?

  6. Will you be ready to lead in this new hybrid remote work environment?

As the leader of a team, you pivoted and managed processes remotely. You became more involved in the everyday lives of people on your staff. You looked into their homes via a virtual collaboration platform. You answered the tough questions. Maintaining this more personal relationship will be important for the future. Team dynamics have changed, and you need to re-evaluate your leadership skills and those of your leadership team. 

Like you, your team has been experimenting with remote technologies and applications that offer a new experience. They have adapted and overcome obstacles to ensure they could still deliver services for your citizens. They became more agile as their normal routines were completely upended. Managing time became more difficult as the pressures of everyday family life pinched into work. The lines between home and work blurred but your team made it work. They will continue to be more agile and potentially willing to experiment a bit more to be even more innovative. Their new hobbies and their enhanced appreciation for family will make them more inquisitive and in much more need to understand the why behind what they do every day. In other words, they will be different when they walk through your office door again.

Change was always inevitable, but no one could have foreseen the frantic pace at which it happened during the last year. Embracing the change in your team will help you build a positive culture as governments begin returning to some sense of normal. American author John Maxwell said it best: “Change is inevitable; Growth is optional.” Nothing is more important than your team as you strive to serve the citizens that rely on you. Change is here and it is time to grow. We are here to help!

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