Our world has changed drastically, and more rapidly, than anyone could have imagined just a few short months ago.

As the awakening of new sensibilities about public health, employment, culture and the digitisation of human relationships continues, global business leaders must pay particular attention to how the expectations of those around you are shifting.

There is no longer an excuse for the leaders of companies with stringent return-to-work policies to avoid engaging in effective social distancing or, in tight working quarters, not to wear a face mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Our world must change the minds of leaders who question whether employees are actually working when they cannot be seen working. The corporate dinosaurs who would endanger employees’ health by insisting they come to the office when, in fact, their work can be readily completed via email, video conferences and other digital means must be challenged to face a rising tide that values productivity over attendance at the office and direct supervision.

Further, the office or, worse yet, executive-level jokester known for making racist, sexist and/or other inappropriate comments in search of an approving chuckle from colleagues must be quieted and, perhaps more to the point, humbled by the disapproval of their peers.

For leaders, in particular, behavior and service to others in times like these will speak volumes about your values, instincts and future potential to thrive in a starkly changed business world.

Leaders need not only to be better, but must set the best and most visible examples of compassion, service and support for others when doubts and uncertainties cloud others’ view of the team’s mission and capacity to reach their objectives.

Leadership in challenging times reflects our true character. It requires us to adapt to new realities and opportunities. It calls us to examine how we may be holding ourselves hostage through patterns of negative or unproductive thinking. And it most assuredly beckons a new level of service and support for the people around us.

We must persevere in these turbulent times with a conviction to find answers and solutions despite the internal struggle many may feel about the lack of clarity or direction in our business, industry, career or economy.

So go ahead. Take stock of where you are today and what you want to achieve tomorrow. Stop for a moment to consider what’s truly important to the people you serve and how you can encourage and uplift them for lasting, positive effect.

But most of all, don’t let the past dictate the course you will take in the future. The road ahead is unlike that you’ve ever traveled before, yet new challenges and unforeseen adventures can make you a better leader in the long run if you keep an open mind and lead with a servant’s heart.

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