Covid-19 and its Impact on South Africa’s Leadership
The COVID-19 pandemic is a long way from over in South Africa, and we can already anticipate the everlasting impact that Coronavirus will leave on individuals and businesses alike.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a long way from over in South Africa, and we can already anticipate the everlasting impact that Coronavirus will leave on individuals and businesses alike. Challenges for leaders will not end with a COVID-19 vaccine. Apart from the apparent working from home, social distancing, and stringent hygiene measures that COVID-19 has ushered in, the virus has also caused many business owners to change and reflect on their leadership style.
South Africa is now ranked 5th in the world for COVID-19 active cases, 9th for cumulative cases, and 23rd for cumulative deaths (Worldometer, 2020). The nation’s leadership was initially widely praised for reacting decisively and early by implementing stringent lockdown regulations. These have been successively eased since they became unsustainable.
The collaborative aspect of leadership became more critical during the lockdown because individuals are now working independently at home, and the need to foster collaboration is essential. Sharing ideas speeds up solution-finding, and the Coronavirus pandemic threw the majority of businesses in the deep end in this regard. The global pandemic resulted in people having to put their heads together to find workable solutions for their businesses.
Communication is essential in all businesses and was one of the biggest challenges during the national lockdown. Due to social distancing and working from home, communicating with team members got a bit challenging without face-to-face interaction. Leaders have had to sharpen their communication skills and find ways to stay in touch with their teams. Staying connected and maintaining teamwork is crucial. Video conferencing apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others saw a rapid increase in downloads and have enhanced meetings, check-ins as well as brainstorming sessions. In the foreseeable future, many people will opt to work from home, while many organisations will have less stringent physical office attendance policies (Duduonthedaily).
The most critical leadership take away from the pandemic is to be agile. A year ago, most people would not have fathomed being hit by a global pandemic and everything that came along with that. The ability to move quickly and decisively is a valuable trait when venturing into business or leadership roles. Part of being agile is to adapt to change quickly, whether it be a recession, structural changes in the business or a global health pandemic.
Leadership is an evolutionary journey; there is no destination and sometimes it takes a catastrophic event to allow businesses to interrogate the way they do things. Transpersonal coaching has proven to be beneficial for individuals and businesses alike as we learn to cope during the covid-era. COVID-19 came with some tough lessons along with ample opportunity for self-improvement and reflection- two of the cornerstones of the transpersonal leadership paradigm. In our modern society in a post-covid world, organisational heads need to transfigure into transpersonal leaders. Transpersonal coaching is the leadership development methodology of tomorrow, are you part of the future?