Clinton O. Longenecker, Jenell L. S. Wittmer
May 16, 2022
Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal
Purpose The purpose of the current study is to explore the lessons learned by CEOs during the pandemic on how to develop themselves and their workforce to bring success during this chaotic and uncertain time. Design/methodology/approach Thirty CEO interviews were conducted with two trained interviewers that lasted an average of 76 minutes. Three independent reviewers conducted a content analysis. Findings Through the content analysis, six main themes emerged that we have labeled “success lessons”: Your workforce really is your most important resource, leaders, at all levels, must lead effectively and with empathy, leaders must practice 360° two-way communication with honesty and transparency, equip your workforce for success and leverage technology, trust and empower your workforce, and invest more time reinforcing and celebrating victories. Originality/value The size and scope of the pandemic provides for lessons on leadership and workforce development never experienced before. The current study provides in-depth insights from CEO experiences during the pandemic.