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Leadership and COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious test of the readiness of leaders around the world and a reconsideration of their skills to play a key role in meeting these challenges. They make important and difficult decisions, and that is why the well-being of the community should always come first, said Svetlana Stefanović, Executive Director of the Belgrade Security Forum and Program Coordinator of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence.

“The role of a leader in answering the situation that changed the way of living and working from the base implies to: speak calmly about the situation during the pandemic and infuse security into citizens during the situation that is not secure; clearly and timely communicate all changes, decisions and reasons for making them; speak openly and honestly about the steps taken to meet the challenges in the best possible way; be dedicated to finding the best possible solutions based on the into the situation with clear directions in which to act and make decisions responsibly and consistently implement them,” says Svetlana Stefanović.

Although there was no assessment of who responded better and reacted to the situation when the whole world was paralyzed by an “invisible enemy”, the data show that not everyone passed the test. Women leaders turned out to be more ready to take on the role, assess and act in crisis situations, and they showed by personal example that problems are solved with courage, understanding and empathy, believes Svetlana Stefanović.

After the pandemic, according to her, it will be necessary for leaders to continue to lead responsibly and find new ways to overcome long-term challenges, as well as to support the community to get out of adversity more confidently into the positive outcome of the changes to come.

New living and working conditions have indicated the need to acquire new knowledge and skills such as time management in a situation where our living space is also working space, separation of private and business life, organization and conducting of online meetings, how we communicate and present ourselves during online meetings, but also how to keep focused during work, concludes the Executive Director of Belgrade Security Forum.


Originally published in NOVASTON – How to survive “corona” situation, part VI, May 2020,