4 Ways To Develop Leadership Resilience For The New Normal

The term “new normal” was first coined after the Financial Crisis of 2008 to describe a circumstance where what was previously abnormal, all of a sudden, becomes commonplace. 

With 2020’s unforeseen turn of events, the new normal is now frequently used to describe the realities of life and work as altered by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In order to survive the transformational and radical change that is currently taking over the world, leaders need to develop leadership resilience so as to prepare for the new challenges that stand in their way. 

In our first talk, we will be sharing more about leadership resilience and how leaders can work with their employees to overcome the struggles posed by the new normal. 

In this article, we are sharing 4 tips on how employers can develop leadership resilience to survive challenges posed by the new normal.

1. Hold On To Your Organisational Purpose

The first strategy that leaders can adopt to develop leadership resilience through a period of crisis is by holding on to their organisational purpose. 

Organisations led by leaders who are aware of the company’s purpose tend to thrive better during challenging times. Their success is attributed back to the understanding of how significantly purpose stands with regards to engaging their employees.   

A study conducted by Imperative also found supporting perspectives that purpose-oriented employees are more productive and successful. Aligning yourself with the organisation’s purpose and sharing that learning with your employees will also allow them to feel that the work they create carries greater “meaning”. 

Purpose-driven organisations also manage to retain their loyal customers when times get tough. According to an article published by PrWeek.com, eight in ten customers say that they find themselves being more loyal to purpose-driven brands. As a result, when the organisations may be going through a rough patch, their loyal customer based relationships can still be upheld. 

It can be learned that organisations which hold on to its purpose even in the midst of a crisis tend to survive the challenges that come their way. As such, one of the ways that employers can develop their resilient leadership skills is by holding on to their organisational purpose.

2. Commit To The Process Of Learning

The second way that employers around the world can develop leadership resilience when stuck in the middle of a crisis is by committing to the process of learning. 

Tough times could cause employers to solely fall back on the years of experience they may have accumulated. However, it is essential that leaders try to focus on the limitless knowledge that is out there to be gained. 

As mentioned in an article published by Deloitte.com, businesses and talents from all around the world are now “learning to communicate, collaborate and coordinate on virtual platforms”. These organisations are also trying to understand the “increased efficacy and efficiency different modalities of work can provide” for them today. 

With the Covid-19 pandemic altering routines for individuals and corporates everywhere, leaders can spend their time committing to the process of learning on how topics like remote working conditions and rental of physical spaces are going to be affected in the near future too. 

Employers can look into revising existing organisational strategies to tackle the challenges posed by the new normal as well as invest time into expanding one’s knowledge pool on the current circumstances. 

As such, committing to the learning process is yet another way that leaders can develop resilient leadership skills to survive the new normal.

3. Exercise Trust

In a time of crisis, like the one we’re all in right now, trust plays a role of paramount importance. With all the uncertainties that the new normal is providing, trust within the corporate world has to be demonstrated by employers in their commitment to dealing with unanticipated circumstances. 

A research study conducted by Economist, Stephen Knack, found that when trust is established in the corporate world, it continuously yields tangible real results in terms of “economic growth, shareholder value, and increased innovation” within those organisations. 

While there are several ways to establish trust within organisations, perhaps the most crucial form of it has to be exercised between employers and employees. Leaders need to trust that their team members may be in the best position to innovate realistic approaches for the specific projects that they are working on, in order to solve the challenges posed by the new normal. 

Additionally, the establishment and exercising of trust in challenging times like these, will also provide other stakeholders with opportunities to deepen their trusted relations with the organisation in the future too. 

With the factor of trust brought into the picture, companies will have a clearer idea on how they can and should evolve for their organisational futures to progress securely. The key to exercising resilient leadership, thus lies in the employers’ “ability to energise teams by embracing trust” so as to overcome the challenges of the new normal.

4. Be Ready To Restart

With the changes that the new normal has been bringing, numerous businesses have been disrupted and even unable to operate during this time. Many organisations around the world are thus going through a stage of fear as they find themselves stuck in a rut. 

“Leaders must focus on building from where they are now, crafting what could be, instead of mourning what was.” 

As such, one way that employers can develop resilient leadership skills is thus, by accepting the changes and getting ready to restart promptly. Perhaps, leaders need to start thinking about whether the survival of their business may lie in changing their goals rather than devising strategies to attain existing objectives.  

It is becoming clear that businesses will need to reboot sooner or later. The new normal has already brought in previously unprecedented measures including but not limited to flexi working hours, telecommuting and the digitisation of businesses. 

Organisations from around the world may need to consider “retooling” themselves for the new world too. The reconfiguration of supply chains and operating models will cause consumer behaviours to shift and business boundaries to be redrawn in the future. 

As the article on Deloitte.com mentioned, “Once you discover that you can do things differently, you may want to consider whether you should continue doing so.” Changes are inevitable and with this fact in mind, leaders need to show their people that embracing these changes is the only way to focus on the future

As such, considering hitting the restart button is also one other way employers can develop their resilient leadership skills to tackle the challenges posed by the new normal.

In conclusion, the crisis at hand is forcing many organisations to reconsider their strategies for survival. In order for businesses to successfully emerge from the aftermath of this crisis, leaders of these companies need to have their resilient leadership skills polished well.  

Four ways that leaders can develop leadership resilience include holding on to organisational purpose, committing to the process of learning, exercising trust and being ready to restart from ground zero. 

With these newly learned tips, do you see your business becoming the nexus of a new ecosystem that’s formed to fight the challenges of the new normal? We sure hope so!


StrengthsAsia has helped many individual and corporate clients all throughout the region in empowering leaders by enabling breakthrough experiences for both leaders and followers. If you want to learn more about the Strengths Leadership Program, feel free to reach out to us here.

Reshma is StrengthsAsia’s content writer and research contributor. She enjoys spending her time writing anything from poems to screenplays, and everything in between. She also finds joy in reading novels, baking and catching movies with her family. Participating in creative activities helps her find inspiration and new ideas for her work.

Aly is StrengthsAsia’s marketing and communications guru and lead editor. She's over the top inquisitive and everyone in the company knows her as “The Googler” as she practically googles everything. Honestly, we all worry for her… She is also the Principal Trainer for our one of a kind ice cream team building workshops in Asia.

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