Guest post from Vince Molinaro:
Publilius Syrus was a Latin writer who lived from
85 to 43 B.C. He wrote, “Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” He got
it right way back then. Anyone can lead when times are good, when the world is
stable, and the sea is calm. It takes real and accountable leaders to lead in
today’s and tomorrow’s world.
No truer words have ever been spoken and now in a world gripped by a global pandemic, all leaders will need to be stronger than they have ever been to lead us through the uncertainty and ambiguity we all face. In today’s complex world, leaders are being asked to step up in dynamic and unexpected ways.
But there is a problem. At a time when we need
leaders to be stronger, they are not. Many leaders that I work with today tell
me they are overwhelmed, disengaged, and underprepared for their roles and the
challenges of these unprecedented times.
Unfortunately, many leaders are
not equipped with the tools they need to lead under pressure. As a result, they
fail to serve themselves and their employees effectively, and put the future of
their entire organization at risk.
I conducted a LinkedIn poll a few weeks after the
COVID-19 virus shut own the world. I was
curious to learn about the experiences that leaders in my network were having.
The top two challenges that came out on the top of their list was dealing with
ambiguity and uncertainty and coming to the realization that they would have to
make some difficult business decisions. Ones that would impact the lives and
careers of their employees. As the weeks and months have gone by, it seems
these two primary challenges remain for leaders.
So how do you lead when your world has been
I believe that the way forward is to focus on
leadership accountability. It is and will always be what sets the truly great
leaders apart from the rest.
There is a dual response that will be required:
individual and organizational.
At a personal level, you will need to embrace
leadership accountability. This means you will need to step up and demonstrate
personal ownership for your leadership role.
You will need to be deliberate and decisive in the way that you lead.
You will also need to bring a sense of urgency, courage and resilience in how you
lead every single day.
But there is more. You will need to go beyond
yourself to hold others accountable for being leaders. You will need to build
truly accountable teams. You will also need to play a role within and across
your organization to build a strong leadership culture and community of
At an organizational level, you must work to make
leadership accountability a priority within a company. Senior leaders will need
to define clear leadership expectations for all their leaders. They must also
do the hard work to sustain their momentum in building a both strong leadership
Finally, they must invest the time to help leaders
create a sense of community across the entire organization.
Ontario, Canada) is Founder and CEO of Leadership Contract
Inc and is an author, speaker, leadership adviser and researcher. His
most recent book, Accountable Leaders: Inspire a Culture Where Everyone Steps Up,
Takes Ownership, and Delivers Results, came out in June. Molinaro
has helped create one of the leading brands in the Human Capital industry,
working in several key sectors including energy, pharmaceutical, professional
services, technology, financial services, and the public sector. He is the
author of four successful books, Leadership Solutions, The Leadership
Gap, The Leadership Contract, and the Leadership Contract Field
Guide. His work has been featured in many of the world’s leading
business publications, including The Harvard Business Review, Forbes,
Inc. Magazine, and The World EconomicForum.