While so much of the world around us is changing, there will come a time when people around the world will look for signs, evidence and leaders in whom they can believe and put their trust for better things to come in the future.

There is no better economic and social flashpoint to prove this point than the continuing global struggle to contain the spread of COVID-19, the pandemic that has dealt death and political division like no previous scourge of humanity.

And thus, there may be no higher calling for today’s global executive leaders than to answer the challenge with the confidence of their convictions and the resolve to keep employees safe while taking steps as individuals to lead by example and follow the guidance of public health policymakers.

The simple act of wearing a facemask can not only protect oneself but also bring some comfort to employees whose children are too young to qualify for the vaccines now available to otherwise healthy adolescents and adults.

Individual support for vaccination against COVID-19 also helps reinforce the notion that each person can – and should – do their part to act in their own self-interest and, concurrently, to act for the greater good by helping build a wall against a virus that mutates and multiplies its risk to human life every time it infects a new victim.

To take things even a step further, there are individuals within each employer tasked with actively managing and implementing workplace countermeasures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

These days, corporate leadership proactively moves to thank the Human Resources, Environmental Health & Safety, Regulatory and Operations leaders and support the very difficult decision-making (and, yes, criticism) they continue to face and policy enforcement they must ensure as they fight to keep businesses running and supply chains moving.

The entire business world is indebted to the frontline doctors, healthcare workers and support staff teams who are staring the virus straight in the eyes every day. Further, we remain indebted to airline pilots and crews, and logistics workers driving ships, trains, trucks and other transportation to keep the global flow of goods moving at a time when economic certainty fuels confidence for tomorrow.

Now more than ever before, leadership in any business management function now beckons leaders to lead.

Increasingly, there is no getting around the issue that concern for the greater good – and the sustainability of organisations in every industry – now hinges on a unified front supporting vaccines and masks and any other weapon in the fight against COVID-19.

Where there is not sufficient supply of vaccines, business leaders must do their parts to enable such distribution and encourage uptake by their employees and families who qualify, allowing for the required medical and religious exemptions.

Where there is oversupply, and the option for some to deny science and stand on personal liberty in the face of a deadly virus, leaders must make stark choices that may lead to the ultimate separation from individuals who decide not to protect themselves, and in so doing, needlessly threaten others.

These are the times that test the relationships we, as leaders, have built with employees, with peers and business partners. Everything we put into these will now be summoned as people look for trust and support in others in trying times.

And although none of us wishes to relive the virus challenges we faced through most of 2020, we must stand together in 2021 and hold firm amid the storm. Only togetherness, compassion, care and belief in others will move us closer to better days for the companies that employ us, and which we sustain.

It’s time to unite with others, and for leaders to be reservoirs of strength, example and belief for others. We must align with one another to sustain our business ventures and put us back on the course for long-term business growth and prosperity. Let this important work begin, and be renewed in each one of us now.


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