A reflection on the lessons from the COVID-19 Leadership Series by Michelle Morgan-Gibson

14.01.21 08:50 AM By hitu

Michelle shares her key learnings from the COVID-19 Leadership Series HITU HR Solutions conducted in 2020.

Hitu HR solutions completed a series of leadership interviews with four leaders in 2020. They were leaders in different spheres including post-secondary education, municipal government, hospitality and banking. It was beneficial to hear and read what the leaders discussed about their experiences, challenges, growth opportunities and approaches to leadership in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is my pleasure to share what I gleaned from the leadership series by Hitu HR solutions.


I noticed that there were some common threads of thought across more than one of the leaders’ interviews. Some of these common themes or threads included: 
·  Having a sense of humor was helpful to promote wellness and reduce stress
·  It is critical to ensure all voices are heard and be mindful of persons whose voices are often not heard
·  Acknowledging issues and challenges when they arise allows a leader to be transparent (it may mean apologizing and making a pivot after failure)
·  The need for collaboration and authentic relationship building is more crucial than ever before
·  The nature, speed and approaches of decision-making must be aligned to the situation on the ground to be effective (it may mean empowering managers at the local level to make operational decisions that would otherwise come from the corporate leaders)

Lessons and takeaways
There were some key lessons that I took away from the leadership series. My primary takeaway from all the interviews was that effective leaders put the needs of their people first, whether it is their internal teams or other constituents. I would like to highlight one key point from each interview:

1)  It is important to understanding that one’s actions and decisions during a crisis or an intense situation will become that person’s legacy in the future. That was reinforced in Michael Shultz’s (CEO, Infuse Hospitality) interview.

2)  Trust is critical including trusting oneself (personal intuition), families, our teams, and stakeholders that we work closely with. This was highlighted in the interview with Mayor Meed-Ward (Mayor of the City of Burlington). 

3)  Success is not just about the end result. Therefore, in some situations we may need to redefine what success really means throughout a process. That was one of my key takeaways from the interview with Michele Mouton (Director, Durham College). 

4)  The ability to demonstrate compassion for others is an indicator of leadership competence. This is based on the interview with Nishit Jain (Executive Vice President, IndusInd Bank). 

I highly recommend that you take some time to review the leadership interview series. You might find that your key learnings might be completely different from mine. You may gain as much value and insights as I did, based on the perspectives of the different leaders who were gracious enough to participate in the leadership series. 

About the writer: Michelle Morgan-Gibson 

Michelle is a Diversity and Inclusion Professional, Certified Talent Management Practitioner (CTMP), and Change Management Practitioner (CMP) who understands the dynamics of navigating career matters as an immigrant. She teaches people how to market themselves for the career opportunities that they want, starting with their outlook on their life and careers. She helps them to identify various career paths and learning opportunities to achieve their goals. Michelle is an avid writer, and writes regularly on her blog: 


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