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Leadership 2.0: Leadership for a new era by Sharon Williams

There’s a few things that are different about this year that will impact our leadership. 2022 was a strange year. 

It was the first year out of lockdown. 

Team members (and their Managers) wanted to travel and get away. Businesses almost went into  suspension to accommodate requests for extended and frequent leave, and health and wellbeing was so  high on the list I wonder if productivity and output made it to priorities at all. 

The sentiment made it almost tricky to make a tough decision unless we offended someone. Empathy  was the brand currency. 

This year we are getting our come uppance. And maybe a reality check. 

First it’s all doom and gloom due to rising interest rates, so talk of mortgage defaults and recession  dominate the news and business media. 

That has impact across the board. On debt, budgets, loans and supply chain costs. Food and energy bills  are more expensive. There is a feeling of insecurity and fear about rising costs. 

The reaction – of course? The business world and our team members are cautious. 

Christmas saw the first round of redundancies. Here and overseas. If you’ve been in business a while, you know to look for and at the signs. 

What does it mean? 

Well it means that for some businesses, there is an element of fear and trepidation. The patience is less,  the reins are drawn in, and leaders want more from less. 

Costs also need to be less. Or sales must be higher. Less time to train, less time to be accommodating. As redundancies increase, the employment market will switch, and leaders will find it easier to get staff. Some employees will have less job security. 

The pressure is on. 

When times are tough, our teams look to leadership to hold the reins and show strategy, strength and  resilience and to make the tough decisions. 

Leadership is easy when times are easy. 

When purse strings tighten, we have to be creative as leaders and find better ways. Pressure brings the  opportunity for innovation and change.

At the same time, AI solutions are becoming more mainstream, and as leaders, we should look at how we can use it to build our next future. So all task should be up in the air for examination. Its our job, as leaders, to look at what tasks and, therefore, what jobs and industries it will affect. 

Decisions need to be made quicker. 

Tolerance is less. 

At the same time, we have emerged more conscious of sustainability and energy security than ever  before. Environmental issues and sustainability have taken a natural shift up the priority list. 

We’re looking for purpose as organisations and purpose as individuals, which is driving resignations and  quiet quitting.  

We have so many choices, and in such a period of change – the excitement is palatable. 

So what do we do about it? 

• Stick to the strategy and the why 

• Communicate change 

• Bring teams into the inner circle of the plan more than ever 

• Make hard decisions, fast 

• Cut where you can 

• Build where you can 

• Innovate 

• Get good advisors around you 

This period will be over soon, and a new normal will emerge again. As leaders, constant change is here to  stay. 


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Sharon Williams

Sharon Williams

Sharon Williams is the founder and CEO of Taurus Marketing. She has founded a number of businesses and organisations and has more than 25 years experience in marketing and PR from the UK and Europe to Asia, and now Australia.

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