As 2021 progresses, business leaders have a nearly unprecedented opportunity to define new normal in the workspace. Bu, disruptive leadership during a time of upheaval offers its own unique challenge: how do you lead your employees toward change during change?
After nearly 30 years in different positions within USAA, the San Antonio-based financial services giant, Wayne Peacock took control of the helm as CEO on February 1, 2020—just 19 days before a global pandemic began systematically changing our world. Yet, even amidst this uncertain, and at times frightening, backdrop, 89% of USAA’s employees reported high job satisfaction in 2020. It begs the question: how? Looking closely at Peacock’s leadership during this pivotal year, an important trend emerges: he asked two simple questions, again and again:
When employee concerns turned from preparedness to connectedness, Peacock worked with the communications team to initiate a program dubbed the “watercooler,” designed to help leaders nurture the social connections within their teams. To lead by example, Peacock began dropping into different departmental meetings, asking questions about his employees’ lives, and sharing from his personal life, as well.
As we slowly move toward a post-pandemic reality, our priorities are shifting. The “come to us” way of doing business is giving way to a “go to them” mindset, and leaders who embrace this new approach with a human focused leadership style will be the ones successfully leading their teams in this new reality. The process, however, doesn’t have to be complicated. Ask simple questions: “What do you need? What can we do better?” and truly listen to the answers. “Lead from the front,” Peacock encourages. “Together, we can take care of each other, and do it better than anyone else.”
Are you looking for ways to lead your team during this time of unprecedented change? Let us share more leadership lessons from empowering leaders in an online workshop. You bring the team members, and we’ll create an immersive learning program, linking real-life examples with your individual workplace issues.
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What have you done to help your teams acclimate to this new normal? Do you have a process that’s working? Do you have questions for other leaders? Please join the conversation, below!