The Successful Leader – “To Do” List

Lynne Griffiths

How do successful business travel companies adapt to change—how do they innovate? There is a school of thought that it’s NOT about strategy, resources, technology, or luck. It has everything to do with leadership—and how leaders act when faced with change. Leadership’s attitude to change will ultimately determine whether an organisation will sink or swim during unprecedented times.

In business travel, we know that post-Covid our perspectives, beliefs and attitudes towards our work has been disrupted. The result (so far) includes:

• The balance of power has shifted from employers to employees.

• The employee value proposition has shifted from “work for me” to “work with me.”

• Employees favour a hybrid model versus going back to the office full time.

• Employees are rethinking their purpose—they are searching for meaning, whether through jobs which contribute to individual goals and happiness or working for a company which is purpose-driven, rather than just focussed on financials.

As we return to a more recognisable life, the successful transition of the workforce from the known pre-pandemic world to the unknown post-pandemic world will depend on leaders navigating this unpredictable, complex and uncertain environment.

So what is on the successful leader’s “To Do List” for transforming the business travel post pandemic challenge into an opportunity:

1 Focus on purpose:

Purpose-driven companies witness higher market share gains and grow three times faster on average than their competitors, all while achieving higher workforce and customer satisfaction. (Deloitte)

When companies align their purpose with doing good, they can build deeper connections with their stakeholders. Company stakeholders and customer more and more, are making choices in the market based on purpose and sustainability. A purpose driven company attracts purpose driven employees. These employees are resilient, committed and more likely to go above and beyond in their jobs.

2 Change your usual problem solving toolkit: The full implications of the post-pandemic disruption on the future of jobs and work in the business travel industry are still unknown. Previously used strategies and solutions may even be more damaging than helpful. Being blinkered in terms of solutions means you may miss a better one. This “new” work environment needs a bold, fresh approach, an open mind and the courage and stamina to manage problems which may change before the solution is found.

3 Shift from customer-first to people-first:  Treat your employees with the same respect and passion as you would a customer. Employees have found their voice, and they express it through their feet—moving towards or away from employers who don’t recognise their value. Be an employer of choice! Your employees are responsible for the products, services, and solutions that you offer. If your employees are not positively engaged, your business will not achieve its potential. So solicit feedback from your employees; keep them in the loop about what’s going on; and what you are doing about it – open communication.

4 Put HR at your commercial core: HR can leverage their insights to engage, energise, and unleash the potential of your talent. Leaders must shift their mindset to see their HR partners as critical to their business success (aligning talent and business strategy). Equip your HR partners by embedding them at the highest level of strategy and execution. HR partners are your organisation’s competitive advantage in the war for talent and building great places to work.

Employees want to work with leaders who create a culture that listens, that recognises, that values them. We need leaders who will embrace the current uncertainty and see the complex environment as an opportunity to reflect, re-imagine, and change.

Sirius Talent Solutions offers outsourced HR services on a project or retained basis. Contact us for more information – add it to your “To Do List”!