Research & Thought Leadership

Leadership in the 21st Century – Lessons from a pandemic

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What do you know now as a leader that you wish you had known just one year ago?

In 2020, the world shifted in just a few weeks as a result of a global pandemic presenting organizations and their employees with challenges they had never faced before.

The world of work has undoubtedly changed beyond recognition in the last 12 months, whether that be in the short, medium, or long term, but have the leadership skills needed to navigate this new COVID-19 world changed?

What lessons have leaders taken from the past year, and what leadership skills do they feel are going to be needed as we continue to move forward?

Hult Ashridge Executive Education and EF Education First have joined forces to produce the report Leadership in the 21st Century – Lessons from a pandemic.

Our faculty, led by Vicki Culpin Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Hult Ashridge, surveyed leaders across different seniorities were surveyed to find out:

  • the critical leadership lessons from their experiences of the past year

  • what advice they would give themselves, and

  • what they believe are the most important leadership skills for future success.

Key findings:

  • Virtual working, or at least hybrid working, is here to stay, and leaders need to understand the benefits and challenges it brings

  • The leadership skills of the future should build on what was needed in the past year – the ‘human’ side of leadership

  • The role of a leader in the future will be to communicate the purpose and vision, and then enable others to flourish.

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