In collaboration with University of Mumbai, Thane Sub Campus, PCER, Chembur organized a Webinar via YouTube Live on the topic ‘Effective Leadership Skills Post Covid-19 Pandemic’. The three day webinar on 27th, 28th and 29th April, 2020 was hosted by Principal Dr. Reni Francis.
Day 1: Mr. Willibrord George and Dr. Antara Sonawane: Mr. Willibrord George and Dr. Antara Sonawane were the speakers for the first day of the webinar. Mr. Willibrord George, the Director of St. Willibrord Group of Schools, began the session with an immensely fresh and thought-provoking perspective about leadership strategies that need to be adopted in the changing times post the Covid-19 pandemic. He stressed on the fact that a leader, at such a dynamic time, has to be a good researcher and provide robust information for his team to follow through in action. At the same time, he pointed out it was equally important to understand that a safety net has to be provided by top-level leaders of organizations to allow for errors that may take place when we try to venture into unexplored territories. He chalked out a diagrammatic representation to help plan out strategies, which had ‘activity value’ and ‘possibility of social distancing’ as x and y axis. In this way, he proposed taking immediate action to deliver the activities that have high academic value and also high social distancing possibilities at the same time. He emphasized on redesigning our strategies at this time and start working on the same at all levels.
Dr Antara Sonawane, Vice Principal, KPB Hinduja College of Commerce is an accomplished orator. She spoke about effective leadership skills post COVID-19 pandemic .She said we have to really understand the emotional state of teachers and everyone in the institution .The VUCA environment which stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity has to be replaced with vision ,understanding, clarity and agility. It is the need of the hour to rebuild our employees and keep in mind their emotional intelligence. It is of utmost importance that, as leaders, we do not have to direct people but rather, connect with them emotionally. She concluded that teachers should act as facilitators and become teacher warriors.
Day 2: Dr. Priam Pillai: Dr. Priam Pillai, the COO of MES was the speaker for the second day of the Webinar and he raised some very pertinent points. He pointed out that this was the time to focus on the impact that we, as an institution are having not only on our stakeholders i.e. the students and teachers but also on the immediate community around us. He asked all to embrace technology and digitization, to plan ahead and equip ourselves with skills which will make us industry-ready and to ensure that a game plan is in place for all.
Day 3: Dr. Swaroop Sampat and Dr Ashok Pandey: The session on the third day of the webinar commenced with an introductory talk by Dr. Swaroop Sampat, Actress, Research Scholar and Life Skills Expert. Dr. Swaroop observed that with respect to leadership the three important qualities in a good human being are empathy, effective communication and self- awareness. During this period of pandemic and lockdown, people are going through a lot of anxiety and stress and leaders should therefore be more empathetic in their interactions with their team. She also stated that leaders need to develop creative thinking to navigate through this difficult period. Dr. Swaroop highlighted the role played by Life Skills in an individual’s life in making us resilient in our lives. She also stressed on focusing on spirituality as it will give everyone the strength of mind to face challenging times. Dr. Ashok Pandey, Chairperson, GCED and Director of Ahlcon Group of Schools Delhi, focused on the ethical aspect of effective leadership skills and provided a compassionate and wise perspective on what is expected of a leader during challenging times such as the one we are going through presently. He stated that the four pillars of ethical leadership are love, care, unity and synergy. According to him the important aspects of a learning community are learning to learn, adapting to changes, push to action and learn new skills. The leader needs to build a learning community that understands these essential aspects. He opined that as we enter a radical new world, leaders must learn to marshal the talents and resources of their people through compassion, communication and building relationships based on trust.
Dr. Pandey provided few tips to the leaders where he encouraged leaders to invest in their people, build their trust and provide hope and stability. He also emphasized that for leaders to do their work successfully they need to take care of themselves first.
Day 1 Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3s-JtooMVlI
Day 2 Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdZJUHwRIus
Day 3 Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dhfsLzaAro