As the world is dragging itself out of the Covid-19 slump, a whole new style of leadership has been gaining traction. Many have come to view said style as the future for businesses looking to survive in a post-pandemic landscape. The uncertainty of the last nine months has shown the importance of putting human beings first and that good leadership really does affect a business’s bottom line.
This new leadership style has come to be know as “avocado leaders”, attributed to leaders who have a soft, empathetic outer layer with a strong, commercially-driven nut at their centre.
Nick Tucker, performance and culture lead at We Are Unity, told HRD that the pandemic has brought out the absolute best and worst of workplace culture.
“Throughout the Covid-19 period, we saw this type of leader really emerge as a new way of getting it right both now and going into the future. There is a real requirement for balance and this is what sparked the idea of how do we get the soft empathetic exterior but still maintain the harder commercial core?” he said.
The humble avocado offers up an appropriate metaphor for this new leadership style. This new style is also important as we consider all the problems that have been revealed within companies by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Said problems tend to involve relatively poor company culture that is more often than not caused by inefficient or toxic leaders.
Additionally, with the availability of reviews on sites like Glassdoor, businesses can no longer hide behind the silence of employees within the business. Plus, thanks to the rise of remote-only roles expanding opportunities for job seekers all over the world, the power dynamics have shifted. Moving forward, it will be highly unlikely that employers hold all the cards in a post-pandemic world. In order to hire, retain, and inspire staff perform exceptionally, building a transparent workplace culture from the top down has to be a priority.
“The big question going into 2021 is how do we reset expectations about what it means to be a leader? How do they use their power, how do they flex their style, create bonds and influence their people. That is all going to be super critical in the next year,” said Tucker.