Mark Livingston goes over the reasons he believes he believes in "human leadership," or leadership based on personability and compassion is important especially in a post-pandemic world.

We may be emerging from the throes of a pandemic, but there is a lesser-known epidemic that has been silently stifling us. A pre-Covid-19-era Harvard Business Review article notes that 40% of people state they feel isolated at work. The current crisis, quarantine and remote working have only exacerbated this feeling of isolation for many.

We're seeing this lead to added stress when it comes to remote work. A recent survey found that 75% of people have experienced burnout at work, with almost half blaming the pandemic.

A vaccine for Covid-19 may be here, but for the scars to heal, it will require our collective will and action. As social beings, we are wired to crave human connection and a sense of belonging and can achieve incredible feats when we come together as one. Paradoxically, in an increasingly digitally connected world, we are actually more disconnected than ever. This is damaging not only to our productivity and creativity but also raises serious mental health issues. If there are any positives to emerge from the past year, an increased awareness of the importance of mental well-being has to be at the top of the list.

Rebuilding working structures and relationships and factoring in priorities like physical/mental health and well-being in a post-Covid-19 world will require a new kind of leadership — one that is authentically more human, is rooted in connections, and focuses on uplifting, inspiring, and enabling workers to deliver their best.

1. Be More Self-Aware

Seventy percent of leaders view themselves as inspiring, but interestingly, 82% of employees see their leaders as uninspiring. Another study states that 65% of employees would prefer to see their bosses get fired over getting a pay raise! It is important to look inward and understand your personal leadership style and how you are perceived before you can course correct, evolve and look outward to lead with purpose.

2. Don’t Manage — Lead

The distinction between management and leadership is often blurred. In management, we define success in terms of power, position, completion of tasks and money, using a barometer of financial growth to mark achievement.

Success in leadership, on the other hand, is being the leader you would like to have, setting the example you want your employees to follow, and nurturing their personal growth and development. As Bob Chapman, the CEO of Barry-Wehmiller and founder of the Truly Human Leadership philosophy believes, true leadership is akin to good parenting. A good leader invests time and resources to help employees learn and develop their skill sets, with a focus on human capital as an organization’s greatest asset.

3. Make It Personal

We have heard the term, “It’s not personal — it’s just business.” Debunking this attitude is long overdue. Leaders must strive to put themselves in the employee’s shoes and consider the human impact of business decisions.

This people-centric approach to decision-making makes a world of difference to a firm’s growth, engagement and longevity. In an AI- and machine-led future, tapping into our innate humanness and being grounded by it is more critical than ever.

4. Recognize And Celebrate Often

People are driven to perform their best when they get a sense of fulfillment from their job. Appreciating and recognizing the hard work, talent and time that employees invest in your firm should not just be part of an evaluation cycle or celebrated at an annual event. Leaders should create monthly recognition schemes and encourage team shoutouts and peer-to-peer nomination to not only reward good performance but team spirit, attributes and commendable acts outside of work.

Regular, genuine, personalized and spontaneous, positive feedback and recognition are key to maintaining high worker morale, and when leaders show an interest and celebrate employees’ achievements both at work and in their personal lives, it can be a tremendous source of motivation.

5. Listen And Share

Good leaders are great listeners. To make a real connection with employees, leaders must build trust by creating avenues to circumvent hierarchy and making themselves more approachable to colleagues at all levels. Employees should be encouraged to share their views honestly and directly with management, and leaders can help break down walls by sharing insights into their own personality and life.

This makes leaders more real, vulnerable, connected and human. I love to share snippets of my life, my reading list or movies I like with my team, as well as lessons I’ve learned through success and failure.

Business is all about people, and to be a great enterprise of tomorrow, leaders must empower their people and not only hear their voices but demonstrate the value of their contributions. For this to happen, leaders don’t need a new strategy but a new attitude. The future of leadership must be rooted in empathy and compassion.

When employees feel their organization truly cares about them, they care more about their organization. And, when the job becomes more than a paycheck, that’s when the magic happens.

  • No comments yet.
  • Add a review