As global executive leaders, our work lives are filled with requests for guidance, support and answers to difficult business challenges.

Others know the experience and expertise we bring to the organisation. They respect our judgment, and they  appreciate encouragement and candid conversations.

Colleagues and employees alike trust our views of the marketplaces we serve and the growth opportunities we see, and they value our insights, particularly in challenging times like these.

It is for all these reasons that we may be called to question and perhaps even doubt all the reasons why others see us as leaders. It would be understandable, and maybe even predictable, if we begin to wonder whether what we know, what we have learned and how it all applies in today’s business environment still matters in a world that has seen so much change and disruption in such a short amount of time.

The confluence of a global pandemic, global political and social unrest and the steady drumbeat of technological innovation has challenged many business leaders to think differently and to see the world and their organisations and people in a whole new light.

The world of work has changed in just a matter of months. Offices have been leaned out, giving way to a rise in remote work. Corporate budgets have been stressed as never before. Socialising with peers and friends has been curtailed by varying degrees, and calls for more equality are still resounding near and far.

Few among us would recognise this as the same work environment in which we worked in early March.

Yet times like these beckon us, as leaders, to truly think about how we must change, and not merely  adapt to the new realities.

This is a time when we are being called, or, as some would say, being “called out” and implored to consider how our past experience may bias our future approach to solving problems and serving others to the best of our abilities. Global leaders are literally being told that we can do better, and that we must do better in order to build on opportunity and build on the hope of others for their futures.

While it would be easy to get lost in the business or general news headlines of our times, we should pause and consider where we have been and where we may need to go to play to our strengths as executives and as leaders of people.

Let’s take small steps toward listening more and learning something new. Let’s offer compassion and empathy to fill the voids in others. Let’s rise up to new challenges with the conviction and mettle required to instill confidence in others. And finally, let’s be grateful for the opportunities we have been granted.

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