Covid Leadership

January 27th, 2021

briars group jon hammond

Knee Jerk v Big Picture

I don’t think I’m the first person to suggest we are living in ‘interesting’ times. What has been described as an old Chinese Curse, has sadly become a daily challenge.

After almost a year of the Covid Pandemic around the globe every life has been touched, some more than others.

Some businesses have thrived, many more have suffered, but the one thing they both have in common is that leadership has been put under the spotlight more than ever.

Not the political leadership, which tends to lead the headlines (and most comedy programmes) but the leaders of our business world who need to come to the fore, now more than ever.

Having worked with leaders of large and small organisations around the world, I have been fortunate to witness the great (and occasionally the not so great!)

So, you might be thinking, what do the ‘great’ leaders have that others may not?

Well firstly I would suggest it’s their attitude towards the colleagues they work with. When the boss shows she or he really cares, the workforce soon recognises it.

A notable example in the UK is the White Company who have increased discount for ‘Blue Light’ workers from 10% to 50%. At a time when we are totally dependant upon our health service this is a great gesture.

Secondly, I would suggest they are almost all great communicators.

Now there is a common misunderstanding that great communicators and connectors are born not made.

Whilst some people would appear to be ‘naturals’, on closer examination you will often find that early influencers, opportunities, and upbringing have been some of the key factors.

They also tend to be open to ideas and suggestions, not just occasionally or when it suits them but all the time and from wherever they feel they can grow. They also keep doing it.

So that when the pressure is on, as we are seeing now, they have built a strong skillset and resilience to be the best they can.

So, can I humbly suggest in your leadership that you take time to reflect, despite the frantic world around us, and think about how you can raise your personal bar.

Challenge yourself to learn, to grow, to keep learning new skills and I promise it will pay off.


Jon Hammond DL is an executive leadership coach and host of the Reputation Podcast ( He has an impressive track record as a reputation saver and reputation builder. Having spent many years in TV and Radio he shares insiders’ tips in how to relate to people virtually and engage with unseen audiences. He helps businesses around the world with communication strategies, creating remote studios, effective message delivery and teaching leaders to have presence and to reach their full potential. Contact him at or

Kate Jolly

Kate co-founded Briars in 1991 with Andrew Brierley. She specialised in tax law and today continues to advise clients on international operations, particularly land, expand and exit! In her spare time Kate is a Past Master of the City of London Guild of Entrepreneurs and a Director of CCARHT (Cambridge Centre for Applied Research into Human Trafficking).