2020 has been a challenging year. Between the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent political and economic fallout, there have been plenty of disruptions to our normal state of affairs. This has made leadership especially important in the last few months. When times get tough, we see what types of leaders truly prove effective. We also learn what types of leadership skills will be most important in the future. These are the seven main lessons we’ve learned about leadership in the pandemic era.

Leaders Must Show Empathy

With so much going wrong in the world, lots of people are struggling physically, emotionally, and financially. Good leaders check in on their team members to show that they care on a human level.

Leaders Should Be Honest About Their Feelings

Emotionless robots don’t make good leaders. People like to sympathize with their leaders. For this to be possible, leaders need to let their feelings show. When leaders are emotionally transparent, it builds genuine bonds that increase team unity.

Leaders Should Provide Feelings of Safety

The more comfortable people are, the better they can do their jobs. When leaders create safe and secure workplaces, the whole operation benefits.

Leaders Should Promote a Socially-Beneficial Mission

We are living through troubling, uncertain times. When leaders ignore the realities of the outside world, they come across as aloof. By being earnest about a socially-conscious mission for the company, leaders help get everyone on board.

Adaptability is Key

Things are changing fast, and companies must be able to keep up. The leaders who have most effectively dealt with the rapid-fire changes of 2020 have been those willing to ditch obsolete methods in favor of new strategies that match the times.

Leaders Must Be Optimistic (Without Being Pollyannaish)

With so much going wrong in the world, many team members need a leader to provide them with a bit of hope. At the same time, sugar-coating every problem at hand only makes people roll their eyes. It’s all about striking a balance.

Constant Communication is Essential

With so much changing so fast, it can be hard to keep everybody on the same page. Leaders who communicate often and effectively can hold their teams together.