memorialdayThe pandemic has given this year’s Memorial Day weekend an added dimension of significance. Traditionally, the holiday has been a time to remember the sacrifices of our military personnel who gave all. This year, we also extend our thoughts and prayers to everyone who has been affected by the impact of the coronavirus.

The pandemic has been a test of our courage, resolve and ingenuity. I am especially proud of the global community of technology leaders who have worked relentlessly throughout the crisis to keep the world’s networks and systems running smoothly, effectively and safely.

I am deeply grateful for their efforts, their vision and their agility. Together, we have raised the bar and set a new standard for generations to come. The collective response of our peers and colleagues at organizations all over the world has been truly inspiring.

At moments such as these, the value of authentic leadership becomes manifestly apparent. In fact, leadership excellence has been a prime topic of discussion at all of our recent HMG Live! Virtual Events.

“For me, leadership is really about people,” Larry Quinlan, Global CIO, Deloitte, said at the HMG Live! San Francisco CIO Virtual Summit. “It’s about demonstrating that you care for the people you lead and taking responsibility for their well-being.”

Strong leaders listen carefully. They solicit ideas from a diverse range of sources. They respect their colleagues and share information freely.

“Everyone is a little nervous and scared right now,” said Sheila Jordan, Chief Digital Technology Officer, Honeywell. “Continued communication is what we need to instill calm and focus to our team, to retain the status quo.”

At a time when social distancing plays a major role in limiting the spread of the coronavirus, you cannot simply walk past a colleague’s desk and strike up a casual conversation. As Jordan noted, however, a large part of communication is visual and non-verbal. That’s why video conferencing has become so important.

Unquestionably, the future of work is changing dramatically. As leaders, we need to be mindful of that change. In addition to fulfilling their professional responsibilities, the at-home workforce must contend with the endless challenges of domestic life.

“I’ve been incredibly proud of how our employees continue to show up even with the many challenges of working at home. This is an opportunity to establish balance, and support work-life balance for our employees so they can focus on taking care of themselves, their families, and the community,” said Sylvie Veilleux, CIO, Dropbox.

Leadership qualities such as openness and transparency are more important now than ever before because “being empathetic is about showing up as yourself, not the person you're trying to be,” said Veilleux.

As I noted earlier this month, the speed of business is accelerating so quickly that it almost feels like an “accelerated acceleration.”  For some organizations, the sudden shift has been difficult. But the larger picture reveals a culture that is comfortable with fast cycles of innovation and implementation. That is highly reassuring and encouraging.

From our perspective, it’s clear that great leaders have stepped up and are making all the right moves to guide their organizations through uncharted territory in difficult times. I urge you to visit our archive of recent HMG Live! Virtual Events, and watch exclusive video clips of top-tier executives sharing their stories and experiences.

I find their stories genuinely inspiring. I am incredibly proud and humbled by their participation in our truly unique and valuable professional community here at HMG Strategy, the world’s strongest independent platform for peer-driven knowledge and unbiased information.

At HMG Strategy, we cover what matters most to you: Courageous leadership, inspiration, hope, resiliency, accelerating career ascent, driving a winning agenda and making the world a better place. Our primary mission is enabling and supporting you: the modern technology leader.