Why There Is A Need for VUCA-lized Leadership To Address The COVID-19 Pandemic


Thursday, April 09, 2020 / 9:00 PM / Bukola Akinyele for WebTV / Header Image Credit: WebTV


As the COVID-19 crises  continues to ravage global economies, leadership has become an increasingly  critical function in both the public and private sectors. The importance of leadership in managing the current global health crisis was brought to the  fore on WebTV's Coronanomics Watch where strategic management consultant, Mr. John Wesey, shared his views on the concept of VUCA-lized leadership and important role it will play during current pandemic.

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He implored citizens to maintain social distancing as the novel Coronavirus has no particular cure or vaccine. The absence of a cure creates different levels of challenges and perhaps opportunities.


According to Wesey,  VUCA-lized leadership was a reflection of  challenges that has been prevalent in the last four (4) years. Vocal is an acronym for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous situations which describes current conditions. The acronym was developed in 1987 which was a period of major uncertainty.


Wesey noted that a leader must understand ways and patterns, using data to take informed decisions , Nigeria Centre For Disease Control [NCDC] should provide the rate of  test in the country in order to have estimates per state.


In his view, Wesey said that the country  needs data and hotlines  for citizens to interact, to make decisions that are timely and efficient.


Noting what needs to be done for effective  leadership communication, Wesey said that that the country needs visionary leaders with adequate emotional intelligence and project delivery skills. He pointed out that the vison leaders preach must be supported by series of properly choreographed activities that build the confidence and trust of the citizenship.

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He emphasized the need for leaders to develop the empathy, sensitivity and communication skills needed to purchase the buy in of the average citizen on the street.  


According to the management expert, to make sound decisions leaders must demonstrate critical thinking skills and understand how to interpret and respond to alternate scenarios. Wesey called for a review of Nigeria's healthcare system  and encouraged national and subnational leaders to take tough decisions on how best to grow the economy while providing palliatives to soften the effects of fiscal shocks on companies, individuals and other institutions.


He spoke on compassion and connection as two powerful words needed during this period. He noted that love and sacrifice are words that drive compassion by showing care to one another which is an aspect of governance Nigerian leaders fail terribly.


In his view, Wesey believed that leaders that demonstrate and show compassion create connection with the citizenship. He argued that compassion and connection create togetherness that builds communal resilience.


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