Level Up Your Leadership Development Plan With Thought Leadership Amid the COVID-19 Crisis

Is your current leadership development plan preparing your managers to take action, motivate others, and inspire innovation amid the COVID-19 crisis?

In a crisis, leaders must exude confidence, even when they’re feeling as vulnerable as the people in their charge. They must make prompt, highly-informed decisions, and take action to support their employees and ensure that business operations continue.

The novel coronavirus has both immediate and long-lasting implications for how people work and engage in society. It’s time to take a serious look at your leadership development plan and be sure you’re giving your leaders the tools they need.

Providing valuable thought leadership content is a great place to start.

Incorporating Thought Leadership into a Leadership Development Plan

Present your leadership team with actionable lessons from the world’s greatest thinkers.

One of the best means of delivering this information is through engaging, enlightening video. Excellent thought leadership content comes from people changing the way we work, live, and experience. It’s unbiased and reliable content for your leaders to learn from. This information will give them the confidence boost they need to rally their teams virtually.

Educated, informed employees are vital when your workplace is experiencing disruption, and no one fully comprehends the impact of COVID-19 will have on businesses. Thought leadership video can help control messaging and improve your internal communication.

Enhance your leadership development plan by incorporating thought leadership videos that will:

1. Enable Leaders to Manage Remotely

As more people work from home, your leaders will need to adjust their management style to a virtual approach.

Sure, telework is nothing new for many companies. Yet, managers still struggle with virtual meetings and workplace best practices.

There is so much uncertainty surrounding the pandemic and the disruption of daily life that your leaders need the skillset to manage from afar. If their virtual leadership abilities aren’t satisfactory, they’re wasting company time and lowering productivity.

With access to thought leadership content from industry experts, you can give your leaders the abilities needed to motivate and connect with employees—even when they’re not in the office.

2. Teach Empathy and Patience

Studies on emotional intelligence show that employees look to their leaders for cues in crises. They’re watching how their leaders react. If your messaging exudes stress and helplessness- or worse yet, there is a lack of messaging altogether- that negative sentiment will trickle down to employees.

Soft skills are crucial in the workplace, especially during times of panic. Your employees are likely to experience anxiety and fear under these circumstances, so your leaders need to show empathy, listen actively, and meet the personal and practical expectations of each employee. And the development of these soft skills will be heavily affected by the telework arrangements COVID-19 has forced upon many of us.

This is why its crucial to incorporate this training into your leadership development plan. With the right thought leadership content, you can curate lessons that showcase and teach these skills. These experiences can be refreshers for employees who have received the training in the past. Or you can create full courses for new employees who need extra guidance on emotionally intelligent leadership.

3. Deepen Trust With Authentic Communication

As a leader, is your messaging coming across as authentic? If not, your employees may question whether you are working to protect them during this period of uncertainty.

Managers must know how to have useful conversations that inspire employees to take action and succeed in their jobs. They also need to maintain approachability during a highly stressful time.

Effective leaders speak from the heart and approach conversations with empathy and an open mind. They listen and ask what’s required to improve the situation so everyone can move forward. They motivate with positivity, encouragement, and praise—skills leaders must have to convey their messages in a more uplifting way.

It takes time to get it right, so consider adding a lesson on communicating authentically to your leadership development plan.

4. Unlock the Power of Knowledge

During this worldwide pandemic, cities and entire countries are shutting down. Many millions have already been affected, while others are wondering if they’re next. Your employees are bracing for what’s to come.

It’s this ambiguity that is hard for people to handle, which causes anxiety. It’s easy to catastrophize and panic when you’re uninformed. Help your leaders manage your employees’ anxiety and fears, and even feel empowered and positive, by giving them access to content created by experts in their field. Provide leaders with trustworthy sources so that they feel confident enough to ease the concerns of your employees.

5. Inspire New Development Opportunities

During this pandemic, certain departments of your business may be operating in overdrive. Others may hit the brakes. While working from home, your employees might find themselves with more time for new development opportunities.

When there is a disruption in the workplace, leaders may ask their teams to help in other areas or explore new development opportunities. As your business is thrown into the deep end of virtual work, this will drive employees to focus only on the threat in front of them.

Once your company finally emerges from this uncertain period in time (and it will), your employees will have established new ways of working. This desire to thrive allows leaders to tap into sources of creativity and innovation, and instills a new sense of resourcefulness. Encourage this by sharing how the world’s top thought leaders are changing the way they work in response to change and uncertainty.

Why Incorporate Video into a Leadership Development Plan?

Finding, curating, licensing, and delivering world-class Thought Leadership video to your employees and teams can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. A platform that curates world-class video from the globes top creators and producers– from TED Talks, Big Think, Yahoo, Bloomberg LIVE, WSJ, and more– gives your management teams and employees an advantage.

Investing in premium video content is a proven, successful medium for delivering important messaging across your organization.

Why? People only remember 20% of what they read, but 80% of what they see and do.

Thought Leadership videos are a valuable training tool in helping employees retain new information. Research shows that the average employee forgets 65% of the materials covered in a training session within one week. This number soars to 90% after six months. By offering your training content on-demand, you’re giving employees access to revisit the information again and again.

With increasing workloads, your leaders probably only have minutes a week to focus on learning and development. If they come across a specific challenge in their workflow, they can easily revisit your available L&D information on-demand.

Finding Great Thought Leadership Content

Thought leadership comes from a variety of sources — executives, product managers, designers, customers, salespeople, and more. Each of these groups has knowledge, expertise, and a point of view. The best thought leaders are innovative individuals who inspire people to act and turn ideas into reality.

Internally-created content, from your organization’s own experts is great, but you can’t force anyone to share their expertise. And there can be a sense of inherent bias with the messaging conveyed.

Luckily, there are collections of vetted thought leadership content available to help your leaders make better, well-informed decisions. You can license videos that are already polished, vetted, and ready to share with your team. Videos from the global leaders in politics, economics, science, the arts, business, healthcare, productivity and more are available at your fingertips, ready to license.

Learning From Crisis to Create an Effective Leadership Development Plan

This pandemic is calling upon us to embrace change with patience and understanding—in our daily lives, but also at work.

COVID-19 is making us re-think the way we work and learn. Many of us have to examine our leadership practices and determine what is and isn’t working to keep employees informed.

Try these tips for creating a new leadership development plan that will equip your leaders with the skills they need, keep your employees healthy and safe, and stay laser-focused on your success.

If you’re interested in incorporating valuable thought leadership video into your L&D programs, contact us and ask how we can help.