We recently spoke to Shamayun Miah, who has been in senior consulting leadership,managing a diverse workforce over the last twenty years in the technology consulting industry. He has consulted with clients to reinvent their business through AI, cloud, automation and new business models. We asked Shamayun Miah what he sees happening with leaders and leadership today post-Covid and how consulting leaders need to evolve in this ever-changing business world.
Executive leadership has been under the microscope from the very beginning. In today’s growing world of business, it is more relevant than ever before. With a customer base spanning not only continents but across oceans, organizations have to prepare themselves to meet or exceed their clients’ expectations, and executive leadership must lead the way in achieving that success. An increasing number of corporations are willing to accept the criticism that their executives simply don’t have what it takes to guide them through this digital age.
“Leadership, and executive leadership in particular needs to evolve and be prepared for the ever-changing landscape that we find ourselves in today. We now live in a hyper-connected digital world where our clients are no longer defined or categorized by their geographical location, but rather information is accessible to them at all times,”Shamayun Miah explains.
“This has created an opportunity for almost every organization to market products to their potential customers; however, it has also created an opportunity for customers to learn all about their company’s products and services. With this information at hand, they can now act upon the knowledge that they have gained, leaving them to become much more demanding of not only what they need but how quickly they need it,” adds ShamayunMiah.
“This is where leadership comes in. There is an ever-increasing sense of responsibility on company leaders, consultants and executives to deal with customers efficiently and effectively. This is an area where we see far too many organizations struggling,” he says.
According to Shamayun Miah, there are essentially eight leadership traits that consulting leaders need to develop to evolve in a post-Covid world:
Consultants Have to deal with the good, the bad and the ugly
It’s Evident that consultants are faced with a lot of pressure, both internal and external. There is pressure from shareholders, senior managers and direct reports. Although this has always been true, today,consultants are increasingly needed to balance competing stakeholder interests.
Leaders have to be focused
In today’s business climate, it is critical that consulting leaders focus on what they want their team to accomplish. In a post-Covid world, it has become commonplace that leaders take accountability and responsibility for the outcomes of their team. Leaders must understand what is essential and have a clear vision to encourage their teams towards those goals.
Leaders need excellent process and management skills
Another aspect that has become even more important in a post-Covid world is that consulting leaders have to implement sound process management with their teams. Many times, leaders today can’t see the wood for the trees and fall into the trap of micro-management. The reason is that they don’t have transparent processes in place, so they feel as if their team isn’t focused or isn’t performing well.Home remote working only makes this worse. While it can seem easier to tell everybody what to do all the time, this approach usually backfires. In a post-Covid world, this micro-management approach fails to provide consultant teams with the freedoms they need to be at their most productive and innovative.
Leaders have to support the team
Another trait of influential leaders is that they have a very supportive role within their teams, said Shamayun Miah. That can mean different things for organizations based on culture. It is vital that leaders are supportive of their team, allocating resources to teams where they need to be supported, showing a greater level of empathy and flexibility. Providing the right tools, technology,and support from other parts of the business can help take some pressure off.
Leaders must be visible
Influential leaders lead by example. As the number of stakeholders continues to grow due to digital disruption, this becomes more important. Leaders must be seen as being at the forefront of business activity if their teams are to follow them. Being visible means being accessible and thinking about how they are representing themselves. How leaders act online will only further spread their message beyond just what they say.
Leaders must listen and be open
Another important aspect of being a leader in the post-Covid world is listening and being open to new ideas. Being closed off can be potentially dangerous as it can limit what you know about your business and the organization’s issues. Today’s Consulting leaders need to surround themselves with people who are willing to challenge them and push them in new directions. Being open to new ideas can also help leaders innovate with their teams, which leads us to our next trait.
Leaders must be innovative
In a post-Covid world, this becomes a fundamental trait of a leader as innovation and digital is one thing that will separate companies from the competition. Leaders must be able to use innovation not only as a way of getting ahead but also as a way of staying ahead. Innovation can come from various sources, whether with the team you already have or bringing in new people into your business.
Leaders must provide direction & vision
One final trait that leaders need to have in the post-Covid world is giving direction and vision. This doesn’t just mean telling the team what your goals are but communicating this properly across all stakeholders. To ensure that everybody knows where they are going takes time and effort but is a crucial part of leadership in today’s world.
Leadership has taken on an increasingly important role across all business sectors as the post-Covid world continues to make itself known, Shamayun Miah explains. It can no longer be only about the team you inherited, but it’s also about the team you’re able to build and the direction these people take your business towards, he adds.
As we have seen, the post-Covid world has brought several changes to what makes an effective leader,which has made this trait even more important. This is why training leaders needs to be a priority, as a business can’t afford not to have strong leadership in today’s marketplace. The post-Covid world is here to stay, which means leaders must adapt now to succeed, build inclusive and connected hybrid teams, and take a people-first approach.
“The Cove Tragedy has touched so many employees and their families in such profound ways that many employees will be, in essence, working whilst silently grieving. This is the time when leaders need to show greater empathy, compassion and understanding, building trust and an environment where all can recover and succeed, “…Shamayun Miah concludes.