4 leadership changes CEOs made during the pandemic

Many CEOs have changed their leadership strategy in four crucial ways that have positively impacted their organizations during the pandemic, though it's unclear whether those changes will remain after COVID-19 has subsided, according to a McKinsey & Co. article.

McKinsey identified the following four leadership changes based on conversations with hundreds of CEOs during the pandemic:

  • Aspire 10 times higher. Leaders are realizing that barriers to company goals are often less about technical limits and more about a limited mindset, along with inefficient decision-making and use of time.

  • Elevate "to be" to the same level as "to do." CEOs are recognizing that leadership isn't just about business decisions, but about shoring up team members' morale and inspiring a good workplace culture.

  • Fully embrace stakeholder capitalism. CEOs are understanding that they're obligated to company stakeholders, not just shareholders and must make company decisions on the basis of that obligation.

  • Harness the real power of peer networks. Many executives are speaking with other CEOs about making organizational decisions, both for the benefit of the company, and for the sake of collaborating to take on larger issues like climate change and systemic racism.

Many healthcare CEOs have embraced these leadership tenets during the pandemic. For example, Chris Van Gorder, president and CEO of San Diego-based Scripps Health, sent a memo to staff March 5 urging them to "be prepared, not frightened" of the novel coronavirus. This summer, Kevin Lofton and Lloyd Dean, CEOs of Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, sent a memo to staff in response to protests over racial disparities and excessive police force that have occurred across the U.S. in the wake of George Floyd's death.

The article concludes that society at large stands to benefit if CEOs maintain these changes permanently.

More articles on leadership and management:
Biden inauguration plans amid COVID-19: 4 things to know
Sutter exec Dr. Martin Brotman dies
'Terrible, no good year for rural health': Why healthcare leaders are leaving small-town America


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