As Global Innovation Director at Nestlé, Gerardo Mazzeo helps marketers all over the world to test new concepts and seize new opportunities. His Shiny New Object is Leadership and Coaching at the time of COVID-19.

A lot has changed in the working world over the last few years, from advanced technology to flexible working. One significant change that no one pre-empted or was prepared for, was a global pandemic. Covid-19, and the unforeseen changes it brought, meant leaders like Gerardo had to quickly adapt to keep their customers, employees and stakeholders happy. 

This pandemic has given exceptional leaders a chance to emerge. No one person has been left unaffected and the more global the business, the more the challenges it had, since each country responded differently.

 Gerardo mentions that this was one of the most challenging times in his career, which most leaders out there will probably agree with. One of the challenges of taking the programmes and the projects online has been the absence of physical cues that form 70 – 93 % of human communication, which makes responding intuitively very difficult. 

To keep things running smoothly during uncertain times, Gerardo’s top tips are regular contact and engagement (via video calls), active listening, giving people a space to express and let out anger and then trying to solve through the situation with them and not for them. He also suggests engaging with the team, continuing to inspire and motivate through feedback from stakeholders and reassuring them that everything is on track.

For more on Gerardo’s personal journey, favourite leadership books and thoughts on innovation, check out the full podcast episode here.

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