Leadership in times of crisis

The 17th of October marked a new era for Lebanon. The revolution which aimed at combating the unprecedented level of corruption had a very high cost. The level of uncertainty and volatility being witnessed since then has left its repercussions on the economic and financial level in a way that Lebanon hasn’t experienced during the civil war, post the assassination of late prime minister Hariri or even after July war 2006. Businesses are catastrophically suffering and the whole economy is in crisis. Classical leadership models won’t serve well in such critical times. Being Agile is not an option. Yet not all business leaders have what is required to be agile and to adopt the trendiest leadership models. Lebanon over the past 3 months has become a unique case study which demonstrates how leadership should be exercised during times of crisis.

Around 2,500 years ago, Heraclitus, a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher, said, “The only constant in life is change.” Back then, Heraclitus was not able to refresh his Twitter or Facebook account to see that what was trending a minute ago would disappear from his timeline in few seconds.  In that era, the world was not disrupted by this many uncertainties, ambiguities, or complexities. The world was not interconnected as much, and consumers were not spoiled to the extent of updating their needs, wants, demands, desires, tastes, and preferences every so often. Despite all this, Heraclitus had the gall to talk about change!

With these new factors shaping our world, change has gained more momentum than ever before, which requires a kind of leadership responsive or adaptive to this change. Being a manager does not suffice; being a leader is indispensable. It is worth mentioning that even the leadership style that used to be trendy years ago has become obsolete in our new world of business.

Leadership in Action: Complexity

  • According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, organizations are launching more major change initiatives than ever before: three to five per year, on average.
  • The Corporate Executive Board reports that globally, half of employees expect a major change in six months.
  • IBM’s Global Chief Executive Officer Study shows that 79% of CEOs say that the level of uncertainty and complexity will get even higher; less than half say they are prepared to manage it.
  • Forum Global survey of 700 leaders shows that 72% of them report high or extremely high increases in uncertainty within their companies.
  • Forum VOC research indicates that twice as many business leaders say that “the ability to lead change” is a top business challenge as compared with 2010.

Triggers for New Forms of Leadership

  • The skills needed for leadership have changed—more complex and adaptive thinking abilities are needed.
  • The majority of managers have developed by virtue of on-the-job experiences, training, and coaching/ mentoring; while these factors are all still important, leaders are no longer developing fast enough or in the right ways to match the new uncertain environment. A global mindset is required to lead.
  • Companies are facing a development challenge, which is the process of growing “bigger” minds and developing more agility in dealing with problems.
  • The environment has changed—it is more complex, volatile, and unpredictable. In a study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership, the environment in which leaders must work is characterized by the acronym VUCA. The letters stand for:
  • Volatile: Change happens rapidly and on a large scale
  • Uncertain: The future cannot be predicted with any precision
  • Complex: Challenges are complicated by many factors and there are a few single causes or solutions
  • Ambiguous: There is little clarity on what events mean and what effect they may have

Challenges for Future Leaders

  • Information overload due to complexity and the amount of factors that have an impact on businesses
  • The interconnectedness of systems and business communities
  • The dissolution of traditional organizational boundaries
  • New technologies that disrupt old work practices
  • The different values and expectations of new generations entering the workplace
  • Increased globalization, leading to the need for cross cultural leadership

Skills Required for Future Leaders

  • Reflecting the changes in the environment, especially since the competencies that will be most valuable to future leaders appear to be changing
  • Adaptability/agility
  • Self-awareness
  • Being culturally savvy
  • Constant learning and development
  • Collaboration 
  • Network thinking

Power and Leadership

Power is the ability to get someone to do something he or she would not do otherwise. Having an impact on the behaviors of employees to direct their efforts toward achieving a common goal or a shared vision is what leaders usually aim at. The form of power utilized defines whether the company and employees are being led or managed. In a notable study of power conducted by social psychologists John French and Bertram Raven in 1959, power has been divided into five separate and distinct forms:

  1. Coercive: uses the threat of force to gain compliance
  2. Reward: uses the right of some to offer or deny tangible, social, emotional, or spiritual rewards for others for doing what is wanted or expected of them
  3. Legitimate: uses the authority one has based on his or her position
  4. Referent: is rooted in the belonging one might have to a certain group, while sharing its values and beliefs to a certain extent
  5.  Expert: uses on one’s knowledge, experience, and special skills or talents. Expertise can be demonstrated by reputation, credentials certifying expertise, and actions

With the advent of information technology and knowledge economy, a new form of power gained momentum. Information power comes as a result of possessing knowledge that others need or want. Information can lead to a certain influence, impact decision making, establish credibility, and being in control. Providing rational arguments, using information to persuade others, and using facts and manipulating information can create a power base. The particularity of this form of power is that it is not linked to a position in the organizational chart. Any employee who possesses information that is needed to achieve the organizational goals is powerful. This leads us to a new form of leadership, which is distributed leadership.

When a person suffices oneself with coercive, reward, and legitimate power, one exercises a kind of managerial ability to run the business. However, when power evolves into the expert or informational kind, leadership starts to become more apparent.

Peter Drucker says, “The only definition of a leader is someone who has followers.” Leadership can be perceived as a process of social influence that maximizes the efforts of others toward the achievement of organizational goals.

140 thoughts

  1. Before thinking about being a leader in a specific field you must ask yourself these questions: Are you someone who welcomes change and gets out of it with the greatest benefit? Or do you tend to withdraw and stick to what you know? Flexibility is “ how flexible an individual is to the inevitability of change,” an indispensable quality in this turbulent time. In a world where it is difficult to predict the future, organizations and companies must take the directions of hiring capable and proactive individuals to take on new responsibilities in addition to acquiring new skills whenever the need arises, because the situation has changed. The ability to adapt is a quality that you must learn to discover in others in order to be able to attract and retain the right people for the changing nature of the business, although it is important to mention that it has become a trait that you must develop in order to maintain your job and making yourself far from the risk of being laid off.

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  2. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” —Charles Darwin.
    Businesses are facing instability Lebanon due to the economic crisis mainly, which prompted the leaders to take the necessary measures that leads them to noticeable change. This change imposed new skills and power for a leadership. Most organizations were substantially disrupted and negatively impacted.
    The economic effect of what we’re now experiencing is extraordinary however there are nevertheless possibilities to pop out more potent than ever before to recharge the work, and this job depends on how the leader perform. Where pivoting should be recommended to do such changes such as evaluating your talent, assessment your contracts, determine what’s surely important to run your bussiness work. Make sure how to spend the money wisely to avoid financials losses. It’s time to streamline in order to pass safely with unnecessary cost.

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  3. Our planet is experiencing an extraordinary changing speed and “much of the education system around the world is designed for a world that no longer exists as mentioned by Ravi”. Yet, new skills and qualifications are emphasized to cope with these new trends. 21st century employees have different expectations compared to the past and they ought to possess 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving skills so they become able to adopt efficient and intelligent work and accomplish successful business for themselves, for their organizations and for their societies too. Consequently, HR managers should strive to empower employees’ capabilities and this plays a vital role in shaping the organization’s position and success.

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  4. What is happening in Lebanon today is the product of many years of ineffective work and stabilized thinking, and when one issue appears, it explodes other latent ones, resulting in a major crisis in Lebanon that we are still experiencing in many areas of our lives. This is due to the management style that has been implemented. What transpired just revealed that leaders across the board don’t have that long-term vision for their companies. A successful leader should be always ready to confront any issue that might face him. To confront such issues, a leader must be always updating his self with new information, strategies, technologies and culture diversities, because what worked in the past won’t work for today, the past generation is different from today’s one, and will be different from the future one, a leader should be open to change. In addition to that, one leader can’t control everything, but cooperatively, the impossible will become possible. Everything is susceptible to change in any moment. Leaders should have possible and future plans to deal with any surprising issue with minimal negative consequences. Human power is the key, whether for a leader or an employee, the key is his or her knowledge, the information he or she has. Utilizing this power in the correct time and place, will allow the organization at a big level to achieve its goals. In Lebanon today, there’s an urgency to use human information power to deal with the crisis we are passing through, by putting our hands together and find solutions in order to have better Lebanon in the future.

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  5. According to Gene Klann, author book Crisis Leadership, “During a crisis, your goal is to reduce loss and keep things operating as normal as possible.”
    An effective leadership should create a safe and positive atmosphere, refuse negative thoughts and people. When the leader in crisis, he should think of the problem positively, pay attention to his feelings,emotions,needs and behaviors, so that he will be well-prepared to handle all the possible results and regain control.
    A leader,himself, can not handle all the crisis and its effects alone, but cooperation and good communication can help in passing the crisis with less loss. Add to this, an effective leader is the one who is always well prepared and planned for such problems, he is proactive, and reducess stress to keep things operating as normal as possible.

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  6. The article highlights the degree of turmoil and questionable future that companies in Lebanon have been facing since the October seventeenth uprising, with uncertainty being the key word that describes the overwhelming majority of businesses and CEO’s. This situation, according to the article, is forcing companies to implement major changes at an unprecedented rate, and is making new forms of leadership imperative in light of the high level of volatility that surround most corporations. The solution, as mentioned in the article, is for leaders to be highly adaptive to change, knowledgeable of their environment and society, informed about the situation, self-aware, and collaborative. The distribution of leadership and the sharing of ideas among the different levels of the corporate hierarchy as a method to survive these uncertain times is the overarching message of the article.

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  7. The whole world is passing through changes and challenges whether on the health issue or economic issue.These challenges are imposing new lifestyles and approaches in all life domains, and this exactly is applicable on leadership concept which also changed and is now seen beyond having an effect on other individuals, the crises the world in general and Lebanon especially is going through gave leadership a new precpective that enables leaders in the different domains to collaborate with the staff and work as a team to defeat any challenges and pass over the crises. Surviving the critical crisis is not only considered the responsibility of the leader, it is general responsibility that every individual in the staff shares and has a role to do to make things go in the right path. The effective successful leadership should support the team, motivate it, create the positive attitude, always depend positivity and show empathy to their staff and appreciation for their efforts in the hard times of the crisis,when leaders feel with their staff, support them and appreciate their efforts, staff is encouraged, empowered and will have a will to continue working through any crises. The positive awareness of the situation and understanding its consequences will make it easier for staff to maintain an effective impact on their work.
    Crises do not ever end, but at the end it passes over, so effective leaders should always be prepared and enabled with their staff to stand for and face the challenges of any crisis.

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  8. Lebanon has been suffering from economic problems for a long time, but this is a bigger problem than before. this a big problem that as Lebanese people even after all we lived, we love the life, and maybe all the problem that comes on us we make as habit or we get used to. we are truly tired from everything happen and also now after one year from this blog nothing changes just the problem transform to a bigger problem also the COVID-19 comes, we truly want a better life in our beloved Country. A leader should be ready to adapt to varying circumstances around him. Many leaders are not well equipped to face the pressure that new technologies and business models pose. A leader should not be one dimensional, and his attributes should include an ability to understand different cultures, increasing ambiguity in the future and evolving complexity of the surrounding circumstances.
    This article provided a clear explanation of all these ideas and supplied us with characteristics of future leaders.

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  9. Such an impressing article! Lebanon was a great example on the importance of change of leadership characteristics in management.
    Disasters have the power to create or break a leader. Some leaders have risen to the challenge of COVID-19, informing their communities, employees, and students, halting and restarting everyday life, and handling the secondary impacts of social and economic dislocation. Other leaders, meanwhile, are not providing trustworthy information and failing to follow through on promises. In many aspects, the world has changed dramatically over time. If we go into more depth and concentrate on Lebanon, we may state that this small country has witnessed a lot in the recent yeas specially in the past 2 years in the October 17th revolution, the Covid19 pandemic till nowadays with the financial and economic crisis.
    Ronaldo Riggio a professor of leadership and organizational psychology, once said “What leaders must understand is that when a crisis occurs, you cannot just rest on your laurels and expect things to return to normal” “You must train, plan, and execute.” To be more accurate , and in order to succeed as a leader in such crisis, the leader must develop new skills to lead the change as he should gain more adaptive thinking skills , have leadership and information power, establish clear priorities for unexpected actions as well as being intelligent ,determined, knowledgeable and empowering which comes from having knowledge that others require or want. Furthermore, they must make decisions quickly rather than precisely, respond to changing situations courageously, deliver consistently despite external variables, and interact deeply with their employees. Managers should keep in mind that crisis situations can reveal a lot about the leaders who report to them.Leaders must use this opportunity to learn new skills, foster innovation, grow employees, and prevent disastrous repercussions.

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  10. The article actually discussed many interesting ideas related to leadership and Lebanon as well. Certainly, due to all the crises that occurred in Lebanon from the 17th of October to the 2006 War, we can observe that time has changed significantly, and it’s inevitable and these changes require people to enhance their leadership skills and be as prepared as possible. In my opinion, we didn’t succeed yet when looking at managing our crises in Lebanon as we should have. Abraham Lincoln said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” and that is what a leader should do. He/She should take responsibility, lead people, and always tell them the truth in order to solve any crises that they might get upon. One thing that really caught my eye was that the environment is definitely changing and even becoming unpredictable and so are organizations and companies. As such, there’s a need for leaders to adapt a global mindset in order to lead better, not to forget that there will still be a lot of challenges for future leaders. Another interesting thing mentioned in the article is the part about the skills that are required for future leaders specifically self-awareness, collaboration, and network thinking and here I might add the importance of the 21st century skills. It also tackled the importance of what is now called as information power and how it leads to distributed leadership. I would like to end with another quote by Peter Drucker, a management consultant, who said, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” and I firmly believe that nowadays we need skilled leaders and not just managers.

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  11. Leadership by nature requires high agile skills and mindset, yet when it comes to time of crisis many factors causes’ uncertainty levels to go through the roof, in which case leadership skills such as visionary, emotional intelligence and intuitive are essential to survive the crisis. 

    In today’s era, we have access to the whole world, information and data are transferred in seconds which puts the whole word in a huge pool of knowledge yet this reduces focus, and hence the clarity of which info, data or event are relative to the situation and hence ambiguity and complexity are high.

    The network works in such a way that the information, data can be uploaded by each person and hence the outcome is increased volatility and uncertainty. Moreover organizations must spot themselves on the global map, this requires a different mindset and skills than acquired from on-the-job experiences.

    Above leads us to conclusion that leaders will be facing the complexity and diversity of factors that impacts their business, they must adapt with new technologies and younger generations expectations, and to face increased globalization. This can be faced by continuously reflecting to the needs of the new environment, high cross culture knowledge, emotional intelligence, Network oriented and visionary skills. 

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  12. Adaptability is a soft skill that means being able to rapidly acquire new skills and behaviors that suits the changing circumstances, no matter how serious it might be. Nowadays, all employees should develop this skill in themselves instead of throwing away their energy trying to change the circumstance, they will change their mindset right from within, and thus making themselves thrive in whatever situation they are in. Because of the rapid changes that our world is facing employers are looking for adaptability when hiring new staff and the skill is often included in job descriptions because of its importance for growth within a role. Practicing adaptability may include how workers are able to respond to hiring new managers or co-workers have differing or new ideas for how work can be done or to respond to crisis as in Lebanon.

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  13. If you take a deep look about the crises that the world face, and step back to see the big image behind any crises, you will reach that ineffective leadership and putting a wrong person in the non-suitable places create crises everywhere, same for Lebanon, if you study the causes behind the crises that Lebanon face ( solid waste crisis, economic crisis and every problem that Lebanon face ) you will see that non effective leaders who follow the traditional ways for solving the problems are the main reason behind these crises, this article reflect the importance of being a leader that have a real role in creating effective changes and in the same time have the ability to influence and motivate others and even persuade them for the importance of this changes, despite all the challenges and thinking in the what if situation that he might face while implementing the change. So being a leader is not an easy task or not a role that everyone can play. Being a leader means to have the ability and skills to create changes, solving real problems in creative and efficient ways. Lebanon need a real leaders that can think differently and in intelligent ways that look for creating changes and solving the problem in efficient and effective way, influence others and motivate them to be a part of this change

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  14. Leader is not only a word that we can say and brag about, instead it’s the action that can reflect our morals. So one that wants to be a leader, he should have so many perfect characteristics, and durability. In other words, it is not easy to be a leader, as the leader faces many challenges, especially with the permanent changes in technology, the economy and the world as a whole. By which, the advancement in technology causes many problems and the leader must be able to adapt in all climates and be able to confront and solve crises. Another characteristic for the leader is to be culturally aware and have knowledge about different cultures in order to solve any related problem that may hinder his work. And regarding this, the leader should be sociable, responsive, cooperate with anyone without being arrogant and deal with others as if they don’t exist and no one deserves to live a good life. Such a leader and with these qualities is what Lebanon needs to face the economic and financial catastrophe it is facing. Lebanon needs a leader who is intelligent and has sufficient experience in business management to lead him to safety.

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  15. Leaders thrive in times of adversity. When everything is functioning smoothly, the actual test of leadership does not take place. Rather, during times of crisis, leadership is routinely tested. Whether or not a leader is a true leader is determined by how they respond and behave during a crisis. Since each new crisis is unique in its own characteristics and with its own set of challenges, there is no suitable handbook for a leader to use during a crisis, and a different approach than the last crisis will be needed. Leaders frequently do not have enough time to prepare for emergencies because they are so unpredictable. During a crisis, everyone looks to a leader for direction or assurance. When a leader exudes dread and uncertainty, it spreads like an infectious sickness to the rest of the group. Therefore, it’s so important for leaders to appear in command of the situation. Leaders must demonstrate more than just confidence. Honesty is also essential. There is no time to consider the benefits and drawbacks of a decision at a leisurely pace. Leaders who act, are proactive, and are willing to change their decisions to meet the requirements of the moment are more likely to survive a catastrophe than those who wait and wait. When a crisis happens, don’t dismiss it, or try to avoid it. Instead, tackle it head-on and use it as a springboard for change. A crisis is always a chance to recognize faults, take responsibility, develop, and change. Having said that, the events of October 17th, as well as the vast amount of change that has occurred in Lebanon and around the world, have had a profound impact on the entire situation in Lebanon, as well as the role of leadership in organizations, with ramifications that go beyond the operation of any single institution. Most leaders were forced to think and behave in ways that are foreign to them while dealing with these crises. Leaders must design an emergency response strategy and adapt it when new data and circumstances emerge, whether the crisis is technical, financial, natural, or health-related — at work or in the community. That is why leaders need a plan that is systematic, nimble, current, and correct. They won’t be able to navigate these extraordinary conditions using their past leadership characteristics; they’ll need a new compass.

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  16. Dr. Hasan highlighted in his article the concept of change which was once presented by the 44th president of U.S Barack Obama, during 2009. However, as every change demands high costs and devoted risks, conditions and requirements are then supposed to be uprooted in order to subsist such changes. No matter situations might be dull and misleading, a true leader knows the value of change and knows how to lead it. In the business world, many organizations pinpointed the necessity of change as an indispensable catalyst for progression and that is why it has been reported that employees expect major changes every six month as 79% of CEOs believed that the challenge to cope with the uncertainty in the workplace is becoming even higher. The responsibility was then to reshape the whole notion of leadership by asserting new triggers to maintain its eminence by changing the mindset for better horizons. Like in the changing environment in Lebanon which commanded new skills and dexterities due to the country’s complexity and ambiguous, uncertain future since October 17, 2020. The challenges were to accord with the expectations with the new generations in workplace as well as to find a correlation with the systems and business communities. For such reasons, leaders must be skilled with an agility and adaptability along with self-awareness and network thinking. Undoubtedly, power in leadership proliferates the more the leader motivates his subordinates to perform or to do something. Such power is categorized in coercive which is summarized by enforcement, reward which can be spiritual as well to do what is expected, legitimate with the use of authority, referent defined by the extent of the exposed belongingness that is shared in a certain group, and the expert which is on utilizing knowledge and information. By possessing the information power, employees can persuade and affect leading to a new conception of distributed leadership. It is when leadership becomes more of social influence to elevate the organizational goals.

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  17. Businesses especially in Lebanon are facing unprecedented change. Instability, uncertainty, and complexity are being witnessed, in most work places which left behind disastrous results on economic, social, and financial levels. As a result, being a manager to handle these changes is not sufficient, while being an adaptive leader that has the ability to lead change is more challenging. challenges are due to the overload of information, interconnectedness of systems, the disintegration of organization confines, integration of new technologies, and the continuous accretion in the employee’s cultural diversity. To confront such issues, a leader should be always ready to update himself, since what works in the past won’t work for today, and will not work in the future. So that, responsive leadership, and setting a global mindset with adaptive thinking are the keys for development. Besides, new leadership skills, qualifications had emerged in order to adapt to the mentioned changes, and adopt the process of growing “bigger minds” using a combination of balance, speed, strength, and endurance power in leading, and dealing with challenges. Finally, to achieve exceptional results leaders must be flexible, emotionally intelligent, relationship oriented, lifelong learners, and supportive collaborators, that’s how diverse approaches are implied, and traditional barriers are broken. Thank you Dr. Hassan for the massive information in this article.

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  18. What’s happening today in Lebanon is because of the absence of good leadership. What steps are taken in action are so different from those that must be taken in action. People nowadays, or to be more specific, Lebanese citizens are arguing about these untaken actions acting like leaderships. The Lebanese crisis happened in 2019 and it is still happening. It’s because no one is taking serious actions towards this crisis because any crisis that hits leaves its effects on the marketplace and business environment, and this is what’s happening in Lebanon nowadays. From this article we knew that leadership is the most important thing that must be found if we need organization. Our poor Lebanon is only deprived from having good leadership otherwise we’ll have the most beautiful country ever in everything, nature and content.

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  19. Whether it is a health or economic issue, 
    the entire planet is undergoing changes and challenges. 

    These challenges are imposing new 
    lifestyles and approaches in all life domains, and this is especially true of leadership, 
    which has 
    changed and is now seen as having an 
    impact on others. The crises that the world in general, and Lebanon in particular, is 
    experiencing have given leadership a new 
    perspective that allows leaders in various 
    domains to collaborate with their staff and work as a team to overcome any challenges
     and pass through crises.
    Surviving a critical crisis is not solely the 
    job of the leader; it is a collective 
    responsibility that every member of the 
    team shares and has a role to play in 
    ensuring that things go as planned. 
    When leaders empathize with their 
    employees, support them, and praise their 
    efforts in the face of a crisis, employees are 
    encouraged, empowered, and motivated to work through it. 
    Positive knowledge of the issue and 
    comprehension of its implications will help.

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  20. Leadership in times of crises:
    Our world is changing faster than ever before because of these new circumstances, which necessitate a leadership style that is responsive or adaptable. Being a manager is not enough; you need to be a leader as well. Even the leadership style that was popular a few years ago has fallen out of favor in today’s economic environment.
    Triggers for new forms of leadership,
    More complex and adaptive thinking talents are now required in order to succeed in leadership.
    Although on-the-job experience, training, and coaching/mentoring are still critical in the development of today’s leaders, they cannot keep pace with the ever-changing business environment. To be a leader, you need a global perspective.
    When it comes to a company’s development, the issue is to nurture “larger” minds that are more capable of solving challenges.
    Challenges in future leaders,
    Overwhelming amounts of data are being generated as a result of the increasing complexity and variety of elements affecting business.
    Connectivity between systems and businesses.
    Organizational silos are being dismantled.
    Old ways of working are being replaced by new technology.
    New generations’ differing beliefs and expectations in the workplace
    Cross-cultural leadership is becoming increasingly important as the world becomes more interconnected.
    Power and leadership, an individual’s capacity for influencing another person’s actions is known as power. Leaders typically seek to influence the behavior of their staff so that they work together to achieve a single objective or a shared vision. This determines whether the organization and its people are being led or managed.

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  21. During a crisis, it is critical for leaders to perform a critical part of their role which is making a positive change in people’s lives. The 17th of October revolution had an effect on all enterprises in the country. Traditional leadership is no longer effective in the midst of Lebanon’s recent economic turmoil. Leadership is getting more complex than ever. Today’s leaders require new adaptive thinking skills.I would advise organizations to set up workshops to teach staff on the skills needed for future leaders, since leadership is no longer just for CEOs; distributed leadership is now viewed as a beneficial trend in how markets operate these days. Leaders must wield power in order to achieve individual, team, and corporate goals. This article emphasizes the significance of information power, which I agree with. It is essentially where a person has required or desired knowledge, and what makes this sort of power unique is that it is not related to positions in the organizational hierarchy.

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  22. “The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new”. (Secrets). So, the measure of intelligence is the ability to change, since life is uncontrolled and always exposed to different kinds of crises, and leaders must learn how to adapt to this situation to keep the continuous success of their organization. Effective leadership should create a safe environment and positive atmosphere, to communicate and interact with others in order to reduce stress to empower his team to complete his goal. In addition to that, and before 17th of October, COVID-19, and July war 2006, CEOs and other executives in high-growth companies were focused on creativity, empathy, vision, fostering innovation, driving revenue, and gaining market share. Today, leaders must make rapid decisions about controlling costs and maintaining liquidity. They need to, cultivate several behaviors in themselves and their teams to accept the change, define priorities, make smart trade-offs, name the decision makers, decide what not to do, stay alert to and aligned on a daily dashboard of priorities, and engage for impact to connect with individual team members to ask for help as needed.

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  23. The role of leadership is very crucial in times of crisis because the leader help, support and provide information to the employees. During crisis leaders are being tested and challenged because their capabilities are defined by how they respond and how they act in response to crisis. Leadership is very powerful; the leader influence and motivate his followers in order to achieve the goals of the organization. For that leadership requires an understanding of the organizational capabilities and the influence of external factors.
    This article gives insight about the challenges that leaders might face in the future and the skills required to face the changes. In time of crisis the skills needed are more complex and adaptive. The leaders works in VUCA environment where changes happen rapidly, the future can’t be predicted, challenges are complicated and there are few single causes or solutions and finally it is not clear on what events mean and their effect on the company.
    leaders should be aware of the future challenges that they might face due to new technologies, increased globalization, dissolution of traditional organizational boundaries, Information overload and amount of factors that have an impact on businesses. For that future leaders must have skills such as being self-aware, understand and accept different cultures, willing to learn and develop continuously, adaptability, collaboration, network thinking, reflection on the changes in the work environment.

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  24. Upon reading this article the reader can easily assess the systematic and organized manner in discussing the topic which is “Leadership in times of crisis”. Initially the author emphasized on the concept of “change” which requires leaders that are responsive and adoptive to change. A “neat” description of the difference between manager and leader was expressed in the following statement: ” Being a manager does not suffice, being a leader is indispensable”. Then the author displayed some researches about the complexity of being able to “lead change” which is a top business challenge. a significant concept was introduced in this article which is ” the leader should be prepared to manage change”. According to the writer, this preparedness is based on leader’s ability to discover triggers for new forms of leadership, challenges that may face future leaders and the skills required for future leaders. These issues were summarized in a clear and easy manner. At the end of this article, a differentiation between power and leadership was expressed in a way that the leader has the ability to distinguish five forms of power (coercive, reward, legitimate, referent and expert) and to choose the form of leadership that mostly suits him/her: managerial or informational.

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  25. The extraordinary events of 2020 focused attention on leadership and brought the dynamics of complexity and continuous change into sharp focus as they unfolded intensively and publicly on a global stage. The deep-rooted uncertainties and ambiguities of leadership were suddenly and starkly revealed for all to see. We humans are wired to seek simplicity, routine, and predictability. When we see a problem, we want to be able to implement a simple solution. Our problems, on the other hand, our problems are frequently complex rather than simple. The Covid-19 pandemic could be one of the most difficult environments many of us have ever encountered. Those of us in positions of leadership may experience feelings of frustration and overwhelm as we juggle multiple demands on our time and deal with situations that have no obvious solutions. This has put leaders under pressure to rise to the occasion. To manage complexity and the velocity of change, new skills, knowledge, and tools are required. Given the complexities of our modern world, traditional, hierarchical views of leadership are becoming less and less useful. Leadership theory must evolve to account for the complex adaptive needs and changes that exist today. Although leaders cannot predict all transitions, they can make them go more smoothly by adopting a change-ready mindset and learning skills and competencies that will help them become a better change leader. Every complex situation we encounter becomes part of a framework that strengthens our ability to withstand future complexity, so that complexity becomes more comfortable and less daunting over time. As a result, we can conclude that change is a continuous process, and a good leader is one who can genuinely adapt to such changes.

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  26. Lebanon has been a unique case study in the last three months, demonstrating how leadership should be exerted during times of crisis.In such crucial circumstances, traditional leadership approaches will not suffice.With these new variables impacting our environment, change has acquired more traction than ever before, necessitating a type of leadership that is responsive or adaptable to this change.When a leader is in a crisis, he should think optimistically about the situation and pay attention to his feelings, emotions, needs, and actions so that he is well-prepared to manage all possible outcomes and retake control.

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  27. A good leader should be expecting any change would happen in a specific country: socially, economically, politically, demographically… Any change will lead to different planning. It is like a basketball game, the coach should be expecting how the next game would be played… During the game, the coach should be aware and ready to any change during that game, in which he would change the plan of playing, use different strategies, some creative runs… As much as the coach make scouting and have a mind to change, as much as this coach is good. Couch in a basket ball is a leader in his team, that would be the same as a leader in any company.
    So, a leader should be ready to any change and should be open minded with the overall changes, in addition, a leader should be uptodate in using new technology, new strategies, interfere inventive machines…. Also, a leader should be in contact with all workers in his company, and should be aware of the role of each worker… So, he will be knowledgeable about who will get a promotion in the work…

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  28. In fact, the article discussed many interesting ideas related to leadership in light of crises, crises related to the October 17 revolution in Lebanon and the Covid-19 crisis, and the accompanying problems. The COVID-19 outbreak has caused a period of great stress for individuals and businesses alike. However, it is also an opportunity to study current business practices in order to increase operational efficiency and long-term competitiveness, as well as innovate to survive now and thrive later. It is time to protect the core business and focus on new opportunities, or in other words, to exploit and explore.
    Change is a feature of life, and we live in an era of rapid changes. The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said, “The only constant in life is change.” This is exactly the case with the concept of leadership which has also changed and is now seen beyond influence. So, to achieve your goals, consider leveraging cross-functional teams, employing creative exercises, adjusting expectations and outputs, supporting an agile organization, and generating customer insights.

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  29. “Leadership Trends”, by Dr Hasan Youness, sheds light on the revolutionary skills that CEOs should be equipped with to massively transform their businesses and organizations, to sustain their presence in the marketplace and to contribute to the competitive advantage sought by corporations. The leadership skills highlighted in the article are delegation of authority; empowering; readiness to be coached; employing millennials; creating a diverse work environment; and adopting vertical development, ownership development and collective development.
    To begin with, I think that how to delegate authority wisely and effectively is a good leadership quality. In fact, mindful delegation is crucial for maximizing productivity and team performance. And since leaders are the busiest persons in any organization, knowing when and how to delegate authority gives them more time to be done with the most important work. An essential factor to note here is that the ability of a leader to delegate is not limited to delegating tasks to others. It means being aware and conscious of who is endowed with the necessary skills and expertise that enable him/her to complete the task.
    Empowerment, as I believe, is another significant leadership trait. That’s why Bill Gates stated that “as we look ahead to the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.” In reality, when great leaders empower their team members, the latter can achieve maximum productivity and organizational success. Empowering the team members gives them equal decision- making opportunities and uses their power of judgment and expertise to develop solutions. So, good leaders continuously unleash the positive assets of others, know how to foster their skills and strengthen the team by empowering its members.
    Readiness to be coached, in my opinion, is also an important leadership characteristic. Good leaders cannot sit back and think, “I know what I need to know,” because what they know today is tomorrow’s obsolete. They always desire to develop and improve themselves. They are always open to learning new things and to broadening their spectrum through art, science and the constantly evolving technology. The reason behind their readiness to be coached is their inquisitiveness and their curiosity to invest themselves in various interests. This leadership characteristic helps them form a rational, a systematic and a strategic attitude towards any problem they suddenly face. Covid-19 has shown everyone the reality check. Many HR leaders failed to develop suitable strategies in response to the pandemic because nobody was prepared to respond to such uncertain situations.
    Employing millennials is another demanding leadership skill. From my own point of view, I think millennials can change any business for the better and that is for a variety of reasons. Besides being motivated, highly-educated, and loyal, millennials are majorly digital savvy and they embrace technology. Most Millennials have grown up with the Internet and other high-tech advancement, and that’s why they are comfortable using them in their day-to-day lives. Being digital natives, they are in tune with all social media platforms. This means that millennials could magnify any company’s online presence, act as brand advocates of the company and ensure that any business maximizes the latest technology to increase its productivity, marketability and efficiency. Furthermore, millennials offer creative and innovative alternatives to processes, products, and functions. The fact that they use digital tools and technologies further helps them innovate naturally. For example, if your HRIS has an employee portal, millennial employees may be more comfortable using its mobile app or online employee portal than asking HR staff.
    Creating a diverse work environment is a recommended leadership quality. Due to the growing globalization of today’s economy, I believe that achieving diversity in the workplace is a smart move to make. It should be noted here that a diversified workplace is more than the inclusion of employees of different genders, ethnicities and racial backgrounds. It is the inclusion of employees of different religions, cultures, languages, skills and educational backgrounds. Embracing diversity in the work environment will take any business to great heights. First, diversity produces creativity and innovation as different employees are endowed with different thinking patterns, perspectives and opinions. Second, diversity boosts productivity of business by 35% as research has found. That is because diversity enhances the employees’ morale, increases their desire to be more effective, and urges them to work more effectively. Third, diversity targets a wider range of consumers. When employees are of varying backgrounds, languages, etc. they are able to connect with consumers from all walks of life, and the company can ensure to appeal to a wider target market. Fourth, diversity increases revenue. According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group, the results have proved that companies with a diverse workforce and increased innovation generated 19% more revenue than companies with lower diversity scores.
    Adopting vertical development, ownership development and collective development is a major leadership quality a leader should be equipped with. Vertical development, in fact, focuses on helping leaders expand their mindset and on transforming the ways leaders think, which will impact what they do and how they behave. This kind of development elevates the thinking capacity of leaders to better navigate the complexity and uncertainty in our world. It also helps them become more adaptable, more self-aware and more collaborative. As for ownership development, it is one of the leader’s characteristics to give room to his employees to take ownership in the workplace. When given this chance, the employees will have equal decision- making opportunities, will use their powerful judgement and expertise to develop solutions, and will encourage them expand their skills. Thus, from a personal perspective, ownership development builds the sense of individual worth, maximizes the employees’ contributions and commitment to their company, and helps those employees excel in the work environment. Regarding collective development, its adoption is a great leadership trait. In reality, leadership is no longer a matter of monocracy, i.e. it is no longer thought of as an individual, but rather as a collaborative task. An innovative leader is responsible for creating a climate where every employee brings his/her skills, talents, ideas, experience and knowledge to the table that often find a route to flow. Here, through the leader’s guidance and motivation and an open style of communication, the employees feel appreciated and their potentials are released.
    Last but not least, “Leadership Trends” by Dr Hasan Youness is an overview of the major traits that a leader should enjoy. Based on what is mentioned in the article, Dr Hasan states that delegation of authority; empowering; readiness to be coached; employing millennials; creating a diverse work environment; and adopting vertical development, ownership development and collective development are leadership skills that help businesses maximize their growth, guarantee their presence in the marketplace and contribute to the competitive advantage.

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  30. In times of crisis, such as the outbreak of SARS in 2002-2003 and COVID-19 pandemic, leaders are challenged of how to respond effectively to an unpredictable event or series of events that generates disorientation, a sense of lost control and an overwhelming emotional disturbance. At this crucial time of unfamiliarity and uncertainty, leaders are supposed to improvise efficient responses that overcome predefined routine emergency plans. In times of crisis, leaders need to adopt behaviors and mindsets that help them navigate any crisis to reach recovery. Among these behaviors are: organizing via a network of teams, displaying deliberate calmness, making decisions amid uncertainty, demonstrating empathy and maintaining transparency in communication.
    During a crisis, leaders are confronted with unfamiliar and poorly understood problems. Also, they cannot depend on small groups of executives to gather data or make decisions rapidly enough to react effectively to a crisis. That is why, it is better for leaders to organize a network of teams to enhance quick problem-solving and execution under highly-stressful and chaotic conditions. A network of teams is an assembly of groups that are highly adaptable, collaborative and united to fulfil a common goal. In many cases, the network of teams is responsible for workforce protection, supply-chain stabilization and customer engagement. The leader should play a significant role to promote the psychological safety of people in the network who are working in a tense situation that marks a crisis. By doing so, the teams in the network are more aware of how to handle the situation and are more open to ask questions, discuss ideas and express their concerns without any fears of repercussions.

    In routine emergencies, the most valuable leadership quality is “experience”. However, in novel crises, the utmost important leadership characteristic is “character”. The best crisis-response leaders are the ones who display deliberate calmness, which is the ability of the leader to detach himself/ herself from a highly-tense situation and think clearly about how to navigate it. Deliberate calmness entails that a leader grants the appropriate people at different levels to direct many aspects of the corporation’s crisis response, such as making and implementing decisions without the necessity to gain approval. Deliberate calmness also depicts itself as a leadership trait in times of crisis when the leader has the ability to unify teams to achieve a common purpose while framing questions for them to investigate.
    Since crises hide lots of unknowns and surprises, a leader is not supposed to wait for a full set of facts to emerge before deciding how to react effectively amid uncertainty. A good leader has to pause from crisis management, assess the prevailing situation from different perspectives, anticipate what might occur next, and then respond accordingly. Though, sometimes, there is no time to assess or anticipate during a crisis, the leader will eventually find occasions to stop, reflect and think ahead before making any immediate decisions. Once a leader decides what to do, he/she must act with resolution. This visible decisiveness in decision- making, intensifies the corporation’s confidence in its leader, and motivates the network of teams to continue searching for solutions to the challenges the corporation encounters.
    Demonstrating empathy in times of crisis is a major leadership behavior. At this crucial time, leaders must deal with the human tragedy as a first priority and make a positive difference in the employees’ lives. First, leaders have to acknowledge his employees’ personal and professional challenges they go through during a crisis. Second, leaders should seek his employees’ comfort, pay careful attention to how the they are struggling and take supporting measures to aid them. For instance, a good leader encourages his employees to express their fears and concerns openly in times of crises. By investing time in his employees’ well-being, the leader ensures the sustainability of the employees’ effectiveness throughout the whole crisis.
    Transparency in communication, as Amy Edmonson wrote, is “job one” for leaders in time of crisis, i.e. “be clear what you know, what you don’t know, and what you are doing to learn more.” To show that they are confronting the crisis and adjusting their responses as they learn more, leaders have to communicate frequently with stakeholders and have to provide them with frequent updates. By adopting this mindset, the stakeholders are reassured that the leaders are controlling the situation. Furthermore, leaders should be careful to address the questions, concerns and interests of each audience. Besides, having members of the crisis-response team speak firsthand about what they are doing can be particularly effective.
    Lastly, in time of crisis, leaders of corporations, companies and organizations in every sector are tested. And since the consequences and the prolonged uncertainty of any crisis could last longer than anyone anticipates, leaders need to embrace the behaviors, practices and mindsets discussed above to help their corporations face the large-scale challenges of the crisis in order to reach recovery.

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  31. Living in a world where the level of uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity are getting higher day after day, triggers for new forms of Leadership .The skills needed for leadership have changed and more complex and adaptive thinking abilities are needed. With leaders having a global mindset.
    Thus the environment in which leaders work has changed and is changing rapidly, it is more complex, volatile, and uncertain, and ambiguous.
    Future leaders are facing new challenges as information overload, new technologies that changed old work practices and also increased globalization.
    All of this necessitates new skills for future leaders as constant learning and development, adaptability and collaboration.
    In addition to that a new form of power is developing: the Information power which arises due to possessing knowledge that others need.
    And having this power leads to gaining more influence .

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  32. Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. – George Bernard Shaw.

    According to the huge change in the world, the leaders are passing through great challenge because all situations are going to be complex the future is unknown, and things are changing rapidly, forcing companies to become more innovative. So leaders must know that what is working before these crises cannot be implemented in such critical times. Leadership today style is more impressive than ever. Those organizations that are still permitting traditional forms of leadership will never flourish in the same way as forward-thinking companies which champion a new leadership mentality.
    Leaders must be acquiring new skills like emotional intelligence, creativity (being able to think outside the box and solve problems creatively), empathy (putting themselves in someone else’s shoes to understand their point of view and perspective), decision making … So they can manage operations, supervise teams, make decisions, prioritize investments, and manage the bottom line while dealing with a rapidly evolving, technology-driven business environment.
    Also leaders must have the ability to lead through more complexity and ambiguity, ability to lead through influence, ability to manage on a remote basis, and ability to lead more quickly.
    This is a great informative article that tackles leadership from a modern perspective. This can just be attained by following the factor defined in the above write-up which are mostly “Reflecting the modifications in the setting, “adaptability/agility, Self-awareness, Being culturally savvy, Constant learning and development…”. I agree that modern or future Leadership in times of crisis can be beneficial to any person’s occupation whether they were CEOs, instructors, teachers, HR, designers, or any other occupation.

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  33. Many factors have contributed to the crises Lebanon is going Through nowadays on the different levels: political, economic, social, health, educational, and, well all levels in fact! The above article mentioned one or two factors briefly as he is more concerned on how to help people get over the problem instead of just reflecting on it’s causes. The article focuses clearly on what we need to equip ourselves with to be able to survive the constant change and uncertainty- the only constant in life! It is indeed difficult to take decisions regarding the future of a company when we are unable to predict what will happen. The acronym mentioned is very suitable to the environment in which everybody lives in in Lebanon, which implies the importance of focusing on the paragraph mentioning the “Skills required for Future Leaders” and assess our strengths and weaknesses, working hard to improve ourselves to cope with change and be able to bear future challenges.

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  34. With the crisis of covid 19 followed by the aftermath of October 17 in Lebanon many things turned upside down and many viewpoints have changed. We are facing a lot of uncertainties, ambiguities, and complexities. So leaders should do their best to be ready to manage all that and update their leadership style, their way of working in the organization…. Moreover they should be able to work in a VUCA ( Volatile, uncertain , complex ,and ambiguous). Leaders face many challenges due to expanded globalization, driving the need for cross-cultural leadership and many other future needs . Finally, they should know how to use their power by using information to persuade others and this will lead to more beneficial work.

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  35. As a result of these crises in Lebanon, we are facing several uncertainties, complicities and challenges. So a leader should always be aware of any sudden changes and put all his efforts into managing these changes. Leader should always update his leader skills which could be done by working on VUCA: Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. The world is always developing and changing, so he may change his style of leadership to overcome these challenges. New challenges and crisi a leader will face and he should be able to know how to deal with them in the most suitable method especially after what happened in lebanon after the covid 19 and oct 17. Collaboration is the most important skill to be practiced whatever the ob domain is. Adapting with every single environmental change to make a successful service and increase leader expertise. Self-awareness is a major skill where it shows a leader’s authority and explains his purposes with high self confidence. Indeed, leaders should save future plans to be ready for any emergency issue happening in the country. Finally, a leader should forget to encourage his team, support them to empower their abilities.

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  36. A global stage, intensively broadcast and intensely participated in, the extraordinary events of 2020 brought leadership into sharp focus and provided a platform for the dynamics of complexity and continuous change to be discussed openly. Suddenly and starkly, the profound uncertainties and ambiguities of leadership were revealed. Human nature is to seek routine, predictability, and simplicity. A simple solution should be able to be implemented when a problem arises. On the other hand, we tend to have more complex problems than simple ones. Several of us will face the most challenging environment they have ever had to cope with during the Covid-19 pandemic. Leaders sometimes feel frustrated and overwhelmed when juggling multiple demands on their time. They sometimes lack clear solutions to situations that do not have obvious answers. Leadership has been put under pressure to rise to the challenges. New skills, knowledge, and tools are required to manage complexity and the velocity of change. As our world becomes more complex, hierarchical, traditional approaches to leadership become less and less useful. Adaptive needs and changes present in today’s world require leadership theory to modify to account for them. Change is inevitable; however, leaders can make the transitions smoother by developing a change-ready mindset and developing the skills and competencies that will help them lead change more effectively. Whenever we encounter complex situations, they become part of our framework for handling future complexity, so the future complexity becomes more comfortable and manageable with time. As a result, we conclude that factor changing is a continuous process all the time, and a good leader is one who can genuinely adapt to such changes.

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  37. Usually, when a disaster or a crisis occurs, institutions and organizations need a distinguished administration and management in order to recover from their crisis with the least damage. First of all, it is stated that a manager is not always a leader however a leader can manage whatever the organization is and this is detected in term of the way he communicates with the employees, the power he uses on them and the way he deals with problems. But, in reference to Lebanon’s tragic situations it is no longer sufficient to have other than leaders with extrovert mindsets who are opened to change, evolution, management and stay in control of how to develop and improve situations

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