How Is Covid19 Affecting People Wanting To Lead?


According to Forbes, a number of factors including financial debt, geopolitical instability and, very obviously Covid19 is causing a shift in the focus of leadership teams globally. The challenges faced by our top level teams are, as seems to be the buzz word at the moment, unprecedented.

This begs the question, is this having an impact on people actually wanting to lead?

Back in 2019, we conducted our World Class Leader Report. We spoke with a diverse group of business leaders about their viewpoints on what they think makes a world class leader. Within this, we asked the question: “Do people want leadership roles as much as they used to?”

We found that whilst individuals are still aspiring to lead their organisations, they are re-writing how this is done. We are no longer searching for the ‘prize’ of leadership at any cost. Our priorities have shifted and even more so post pandemic.

Authority and Leadership

Since the first lockdown in 2020, there has been an increase in distrust for authority. According to recent figures, 68% of the general public feel the response by the government has been “confused and inconsistent” to Covid19 (Kings College London) thus loosing trust. This is not an exclusive issue to the UK. In the US, “trust in the national government hovers around 40%” during the pandemic (CBS News).

You may be wondering what this has to do with business. It seems it has everything to do with it.

When trust in the highest profile leadership team is questioned, it is natural for employees to question their trust for their leadership team closer to home. They are questioning if they are making the right decisions and how this benefits the security of their role (with a knock on affect to their family).

The once ‘glamourous’ heights of leadership can now feel like a poison chalice to some.

The Balance Of Work and Life

As of March 2020, at the beginning of Covid19, 8 million jobs were furloughed just within the UK ( During this time, people took a step back from work and spent time with their family. They refocussed and, when normality resumed, wanted to understand whether the end goal of leadership was really worth the sacrifice.

With work life balance and flexible working being at the forefront of most employers agenda, the sacrifice of time away from family is at an all time low.

Keep Leadership About Being a Leader

We have to embrace the change that has come with the pandemic. The role in most organisations, regardless of industry is about steadying the ship and now more than ever before the requirement for great leaders is in high demand. Businesses are definitely adopting more flexible working where possible and we can only see this getting better.

You can now download our free World Class Leaders Report online here.

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