A pivotal time for business school leaders


Leadership is a concept in perpetual evolution, a mobile target. Being adaptable is, therefore, crucial to effectively navigate the ever-changing political, economic, and cultural contexts. Even though people in leading positions are often well prepared and endowed for the required level of adaptability, the last couple of months have taken the demands on our leaders to a whole new level.

COVID-19 has drastically transformed everyone’s reality in a matter of days, and in many ways served as an accelerator forcing us to jump abruptly into the future.

For many, surviving became the primary focus. Short-term executive measures were implemented to get through the crisis with the hope to be back to normal as soon as possible. Nonetheless, after a few months of being in a survival mode, we need to recognise that COVID-19 has altered the way people work on, a global scale. Getting back to the way things were done before is, therefore, practically impossible. And that is not necessarily bad.

We should keep in mind instead, that disruption and growth are inseparable and that the greatest ideas often result from disruption. The global pandemic has provided us with a natural disruption, and it is up to us to use it to our advantage. To achieve that, a change of perception is necessary. Instead of viewing the pandemic as a threat to our businesses, it has to be viewed as an opportunity to be embraced.

When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at also change.

True, we have lost a sense of comfort and normalcy, but we also have a chance to create a new one. We need to create a new system of work, generate new rules, and produce new solutions. And it is mainly up to the leaders to do so and consequently forge a positive, productive, creative, and sustainable new normal.

It is safe to say that the leaders among us are, therefore, up to the biggest challenge of their careers. How can one convey a clear message when you have no idea how things will turn out? How can one be calm and decisive while also adaptable and empathetic? How can one avoid their team to become a one-man or woman show due to crisis management? How can one be close to the team when they work remotely?

A good action to take is investing in self-development. Understanding oneself, re-evaluating one’s values, goals, and purpose, coming to terms with the new normal, and building the necessary skillset for it is a cornerstone of leading others into such a path.

All in all, what it is ahead of us is nothing like an easy transformation. However, in a globalised and constantly connected world, one is never alone in their struggle. Over the years, the EFMD Executive Academy has been there for many leaders who wished to improve their skills. We are happy to bring the community together now, when it matters most, to share best practices in a trusted environment among peers and experts on leadership, to move forward stronger together. This is the vault key of the upcoming online programme ‘Leading through a Global Crisis: Navigating the unpredictable‘ that we invite you to take part on 22-26 June, for 1,5 hour per day.

Register now and join the expert panel and your peers!

1 Comment

  1. Rahul Rai on June 11, 2020 at 08:52

    Nice post thank you for sharing this. I have done my PGDM in International Business