The global pandemic has highlighted the lack of strong leadership in the world. Who is really standing out in this crisis? Who are people turning to for inspiration or support? We’ve seen people step up from all sectors such as teachers, scientists, emergency services, care home managers, even the person organising the impatient queues outside the supermarket! Acting as role models, providing essential guidance and assurance. Most importantly they were people we could trust when some traditional leaders were losing their heads.

So, as we slowly transition out of the pandemic, and we begin to return to a more normal way of working, who do we look to for leadership and what are the skills that they will need in order to lead a new workforce looking for a different and more REAL type of leadership?

It is certainly clear that leaders who haven’t been genuine from the start, in all parts of society, are now being challenged…

Old school management and leadership techniques were being questioned even before the pandemic, they are now being questioned everywhere. Companies must aim to be “the place where everyone wants to work” not just in terms of rewards or benefits…in terms of culture, respect and values.

The younger generation and the current social unrest proves people are looking for more from their leaders. Companies must change their culture to one that is more inclusive, honest and empathetic, truly people-focused. They must show how valuable their people are, recognise the return they provide, not just talk about it.

In a recent poll by McKinsey [1] of customers’ reaction to the COVID-19 crisis, more than 80 percent of respondents said they would remember which companies “did the right thing by their workers” in dealing with safety measures or efforts to avoid layoffs. Three-quarters said they wouldn’t forget those businesses that took missteps “long after” the crisis ends…

Undoubtedly new leaders have emerged during the crisis. Those who may have been previously overlooked or suppressed in better times – recognising leaders who have truly stepped up during this crisis is one of the silver linings. These new and aspiring leaders don’t want to learn about old-fashioned leadership from antiquated models, they want people-focused leadership that plays to their inherent strengths…

Here’s some of the traits we’ve observed –

Being caring and compassionate – when people believe a leader cares about their well-being, commitment and success it helps them move from that room called fear to a room called hope… [2]

Over-communication – great leaders rely heavily on repeating simple and meaningful headlines, “over” communication may seem repetitive and annoying to you, but to your audience it’s essential to help them feel less fearful and more focused.

Constantly learning – there was no playbook for leading through this crisis, the best leaders listened and learned from everyone, everywhere. Sometimes the newest or most junior members of the team can give you the most honest “pulse” of what’s going on, they can be your eyes and ears.

Being authentic and sincere – the current social climate means the best leaders treat everyone fairly and equally, they always have done. Work is becoming an extension of our home life, we now invite our workplace and work colleagues into our homes. This changes the perspective and balance of power for employees.

Live your purpose, let your team live theirs…HBR [3] reported that 90% of employees would be willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for greater meaning at work. Specifically, 2000 respondents from all ages and salary groups would forgo an average of 23% of their future lifetime earnings in order to secure a meaningful job until they retire!

Ensuring that you have successful and innovative leaders, who are open to change and new ways of learning within your business, will be essential to your success in the coming months and years. So what is REAL leadership and how can it support, enable and change the leaders in your business?

So what is REAL. Leadership?

REAL. Leadership means getting results, showing empathy, being authentic and always learning.

We’re disrupting the traditional notion of leadership. We provide coaching that unlocks and inspires REAL. Leaders. We’re enhancing the leadership traits you have today to lead tomorrow. We’ll help you build motivated and sustainable teams with people-focused leadership.

We do things differently. We think about Leadership differently. That’s the point.

Every leader has REAL. qualities, but not everyone makes them a priority. Whether you aspire to be a leader, want to be a better leader, or want to inspire the leaders in your team… we only work with those who are ready to get REAL.

So now you know why it is so essential to understand what REAL Leadership is, what will you do now?

If you want know more then email me at

[1] McKinsey June 2020.
[2] McKinsey Quarterly July 9th 2020.
[3] Harvard Business Review Nov 18th 2018.

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Published previously on LinkedIn