Learnings from working post-COVID: economy, work-life, leadership

Kevin Sneader, Global Managing Partner at McKinsey, shares his perspective on corporate business leadership on Business In 60 Seconds:

What do we know now that we did not know four months ago when the coronavirus struck with vengeance?

I think there's a lot. First, we've learned about our economy. We know that we've now taken the elevator down and we're taking the stairs back up. We're seeing a return, as I observe what's happening across the world, but from a very low base. And the letter of choice is not an L, a V or a U, but I think it's a big question mark.


Secondly, we've learned about what we like in the workplace and what we do not. Indeed, much that has proven attractive about remote working has stuck. Time with family. The ability to source expertise wherever it may be located. But there's much that's not. After all, as many have said to me, there's a fine line between sleeping at the office and working from home.

Third, we've learned about leadership. As one CEO suggested, all the traditional stuff does matter. Being a good listener. Being aware of the details, able to see the big picture. But perhaps the most valuable capability is one that's not often associated with CEOs, it's being able to show some love, to show some love. We've learned that first and foremost, this is a humanitarian crisis and one where empathy and understanding have really proven to be the leadership qualities that matter.

Civil rights activist Janet Murguía joins the 'That Made All the Difference' podcast to discuss her upbringing as the daughter of immigrant parents and how that experience informs her life's work advocating for Hispanic-Latino civil rights and battling systemic inequality.

Listen now.

"Go ahead, take it," President Putin says to you.

"Take what?" you ask.

"This Covid vaccine," he continues, turning a small syringe over in his hands. "It's safe. Trust me. We… tested it on my daughter."

Would you do it? Russian President Vladimir Putin is betting that a lot of people will say yes. On Tuesday he announced that Russia has become the first country to register a COVID-19 vaccine, and that mass vaccinations will begin there in October.

More Show less

20.4: The UK economy is now officially in a recession for the first time in 11 years, after British economic growth plunged by 20.4 percent quarter-on-quarter from April to June 2020. The quarterly decline — attributed to the economic crisis fueled by the coronavirus pandemic ­— is double that of the US and second only to Spain's in Europe.

More Show less

Vietnam vs coronavirus (round 2): After going three months with no local transmissions of COVID-19, Vietnam is worried about a resurgence of the disease after a recent outbreak in the coastal city of Da Nang that has already spread to 11 other locations throughout the country. Authorities in Vietnam — widely considered a global success story in handling the pandemic thanks to its aggressive testing, contact-tracing and quarantines — believe the Da Nang outbreak is tied to an influx of domestic tourism there after lockdown restrictions were recently eased by the government. As a precaution, they have converted a 1,000-seat Da Nang sports stadium into a field hospital to treat the sick in case local hospitals become overwhelmed. More than 1,000 medical personnel, assisted by Cuban doctors, have been sent there to screen residents, and the capital Hanoi plans to test 72,000 people who recently returned from Da Nang. Will Vietnam prevail again in its second battle against COVID-19?

More Show less

"First off you have to say, it's not just one epidemic. There are many outbreaks. All epidemiology is local, just like politics," former CDC director Dr. Frieden told Ian Bremmer. He expressed concerns that, although COVID-19 is relatively under control in the Northeast, outbreaks continue to rage across the South and Southwest. The real failure, Frieden argues, is at the federal level where nearly six months into a pandemic Washington still lacks the data required to understand the virus' spread, let alone control it.