The pandemic will have changed the careers of many who were set for success

One of the most common private discussions amongst many CEOs has been the surprise, disappointment, and even sorrow, at how some who they felt were genuine leaders within their businesses have simply seemed unable to be accountable or thought-leading during the pandemic. It is almost as though they could only work through a set model or plan; unable to adjust to a new environment.

Many CEOs have also realised just how inwardly looking that their own processes and teams have been; with more thought seemingly given to internal ramifications than any thought for the customer. The result, naturally, is that many who were set for high office have suddenly seen their careers stalled.

And it has not just been internal players but also lawyers, advisors and consultants; many who were seen to be invaluable confidant’s pre-Covid but who have been seen to not have delivered as hoped during a time of crisis.

Of course, this is a natural consequence. It used to be an old football saying that one only finds out about another the moment they walk out on the biggest stage. In truth, what is being written about is no different; so why this piece?

One of the realisations which has come to the fore is that many internal processes which have been developed over the last decade to manage the business have become barriers to business being able to adapt as needed and also allows some to be less accountable than they should be. The real discussion is not whether someone has been good enough or not but whether the internal process has been too restrictive too often.

This is no new issue. This is a discussion gaining in volume over the last two years.

· It has been noted that many departments have become their own fiefdoms, with their own language – which few understand – rather than having one common purpose connected to other departments.

· Many have long argued that many have talked a good line about working with innovators, entrepreneurs, local suppliers but that internal process has simply never allowed this to take place.

· Many believe that internal meetings have strangled any ability to have time to focus on the client and customer enough. Maybe one of the successes of this time has been how many have once again placed the customer first as working from home has created more time to focus on the external.

Of course, just as there are losers; so there are winners too. There have been many great talents emerge who have been great success stories; those who have supported their teams and communities in ways unforeseen. There are also those who have founded new businesses and found new paths.

The Work from Home piece has also allowed leaders more freedom to interact with younger talent in the office and suddenly which may accidentally serve to free up some extra upward mobility as young talents are given a chance they would not normally have had.

It is all remarkably natural with unexpected winners and losers to be seen.