Eleven Challenges for Leaders

Original Spanish version published in  America Economia magazine on April 25, 2020

  1. Stand up and be counted. Communicate a lot. Accept that everyone deserves respect and empathy, even if some people may react differently than expected. Care for yourself by ensuring that you keep stress and workloads at manageable levels. Pass on good vibes to everyone.
  2. We all have different leadership roles to fulfill with family, friends, team, community, organization, and country. It is our lot to focus on growing into these roles and managing what they demand of us in these very complicated times.
  3. Leadership involves learning quickly, as well as resolving things and acting effectively. It also means understanding what others feel and respecting their emotions and feelings in order to help them improve. Uncertainty and fear wreak havoc on the spirit and things are not easy for many people.
  4. Another challenge of leading these days is to remain calm to calm others, as well as to keep our vibes high to inspire hope and courage in others, managing our energy to bring it to those who need it most, be they near or far, be it in person or virtually.
  5. While we lead by being human and by caring for the spirit and energy of others, as leaders of our families, groups, or organizations, it is up to us to learn quickly, act effectively, and, above all, anticipate what will come next in order to react fast and well.
  6. In these fluid times, where everything changes so quickly, it is up to us leaders to plan the defensive and protective moves needed to protect ourselves and our people and things. But we must not lose our focus on the opportunities to help our people and ourselves to grow, and keep a careful eye on how each person reacts and acts, to see who needs what kind of help and support, and to give it to them without delay.
  7. For leaders –and most of us have different leadership roles–, it is critical that we communicate with our teams, our people, our family frequently, clearly, transparently, and in the most authentic and real way possible. Credibility is everything now.
  8. More than ever, it is time to truly empower our teams to be very responsible for their own affairs and to show them our confidence in the way they do things. We need to give them space to lead. That will keep them involved and engaged and doing the right thing.
  9. It is key, during these days of so much uncertainty, to remember to polish our profiles, develop more human and technological skills, and keep an eye on our level of employability and our personal brand. Our personal brand, our reputation and our talent, are our main assets in a changing and uncertain job market. As leaders, we also must steer our career assertively.
  10. Of course, we must do a good assessment of where we are going and what our real resources are to allow our people to know and understand the situation clearly so that they will maintain their commitment, drive, and intention to pull together the necessary resolve to stand firm.
  11. Perhaps the greatest challenge of leading these days will be to inspire gratitude among those around us. We must influence them so that they too see that other perspective that shows us that, despite all the uncertainty and difficulty, we have much to be thankful for.

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El Comercio

Good leaders seek and create network with other leaders. They know they are responsible for developing more leaders and are not afraid to interact with and hire people better than themselves.


ncertainty, urgency, or crisis does not give anyone an excuse to be abusive, or act without respect, criteria, or decency.


The concerns, motivations, or problems of each team member, as well as the challenges and obstacles they face, affect everyone. Consequently, every leader should be aware of them.