Last Friday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Panel Event on the topic, Leadership In The New Normal. A huge thank you to our panelists, Carey Smith, SVP, Chief Information Technology Officer at Constellation, David Kaercher, EVP, CIO at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, RJ Singh, Executive Vice President, Digital & Technology, and Chief Information Officer at Life Time, and Melissa Flicek, SVP, Digital Transformation at Optum Digital for sharing their insight on leadership during these times. Thank you to everyone who joined us as well! 

Below you will find an overview of the most popular questions from our members and a summary of what was discussed. 

What are some of the mistakes leaders make in times of crisis? 

 Some mistakes leaders make in times of crisis is being completely occupied by the systems at hand. They need to look at what impact the crisis has on the business and keep things operational. It’s important to remember the strategy of the company and be adaptive. We live in a world that is constantly changing at different points in time, and there will always be different unknowns. When there is a crisis, remember to acknowledge it and collaborate 

How can you build relationships in a virtual working environment? 

The panelists agreed to build relationships in a virtual working environment; it’s important to have your videos on. Also, as leaders, they need to care about their people and form authentic relationshipsWe need to be present and authentic during this situation because everyone is going through something different.  

What are some of the biggest people challenges you are facing, and how are you working through them? 

Some of the biggest challenges the panelists are facing are burnout with their employees and focusing on people. Leaders are trying to make sure that people aren’t spending all hours of the day working. There needs to be a balance of work-life and home life, even though the two are colliding.  

Mental health needs are on the rise- how are you addressing them as a leader? 

Leaders are trying to understand where everyone is during this time. It is also important for them to be paying attention to their team members and check in with them. Leaders are trying to stay in tune with their teams not only on a work level but on a personal level as well.  

Are there some unexpected positive outcomes of the current crisis? 

The panelists agreed that they have been able to spend much more time with their families. They’ve made strong relationships with their co-workers due to having more of an insight into their personal lives. Also, companies are now starting to look for more diverse talent as they continue to grow their teams.   

Leaders are continuing to learn and grow as we continue in this new normal.