How COVID-19 created a "leadership opportunity"

by Madison Utley29 May 2020

It's up to leaders within the industry and the business community at large to illuminate the best way forward beyond the chaos created by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictive measures. 

According to Brendan Wright, CEO of FAST, being a leader doesn’t have to do with job title, but is a term reserved for those with the ability to stay rational and fight to keep things in perspective.

“You can be a leader in your role, and you can take a leadership point of view and behaviour within a business –you don’t have to be running the show to do that. Anyone can step up and show their value as a leader in these times,” he explained.  

“Whatever role you’re playing, remaining calm is critical because it enables others to see a way forward. When you’re calm, you’re able to be clear about the situation and the actions you need to take.

“Calm doesn’t mean laid-back; it means you’re being measured and thoughtful – and being consistent in your language, in your actions and in your behaviours.” 

Change is the only constant which can be counted upon in this industry, Wright reminded, with the best leaders those who can “leverage diversity, be inquisitive, and involve the people who are impacted most in the decision-making process.”

“As a leader, simply saying, ‘Here it is – this is what’s happened and this is how we’re doing it now’ will understandably scare people, especially those who are recipients of the change,” he continued. 

“However, if you can involve the people who are going to be impacted and have them contribute to the process, it creates ownership and understanding of the change.” 


For more on this story, check out Issue 17.10 of Australian Broker – out Monday, 1 June


Also in this issue:

Big trends driving commercial lending
COVID-19 has fast-tracked developments that were already emerging in the space; now, Beau Bertoli, co-founder and chief revenue officer at Prospa, says the agile fintech is well placed to offer speedy turnaround times so SMEs can get back to business sooner   

Can your staff refuse to return to work?
As Australia begins its return to ‘the new normal’, it’s important for brokers to consider their strategy regarding employees returning to work. They must consider the legalities when it comes to the question: can staff refuse to return if you tell them it’s time to come back to the office?

How SMEs must look forward
As we face the challenges left in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Thinktank general manager of partnerships and distribution, Peter Vala, considers how SMEs will pivot to adapt to the changing environment – and what opportunities are emerging