By Katy Anquetil, Sheffield Director - Wellington


If there has been one topic that has permeated through our work in 2021 it has been the concept of leading organisations, sectors or people in the absence of presence.

How does an executive leader, bring an organisation and its people on a journey when they cannot be physically present. There are sectors of course where pre-COVID this was more common ie; tech, finance and banking but similarly there are sectors where presence has long since been mandatory and/or expected ie; public, health and education sectors. 

Another thing we note as a hallmark of leadership in the last year is a sense of fatigue. If Zoom fatigue wasn’t a thing in 2020 it certainly is in 2021. Leaders have been required to connect with teams, clients, communities via technology for an extended period of times in many cases whilst balancing the challenges of lock down with family responsibilities. Despite the zoom fatigue and the medium for communication changing, there are foundational qualities that have absolutely remained consistent.
These qualities that have enabled leaders to lead through arguably the most challenging context of our generation are;

  • Agility – the aptitude to ensure organisational effectiveness in light of a continually evolving landscape;
  • Empathy – a style of leadership engagement that reflects and acknowledges challenges.
  • Resilience - the ability to not only survive change but thrive in spite of it. 

Whilst the challenges have been numerous, it has been clear in our work that this year has been a time of significant personal and professional growth for many leaders.


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