Coronavirus: Responsibility to drive change, be a leader needs to come from everyone - Arianna Huffington

The responsibility to drive change in the post-COVID-19 rebuild needs to come from all of us, a top US businesswoman claims.

Arianna Huffington, CEO of Thrive Global and founder of The Huffington Post, believes we need to role-model leadership and new ideas to help shape the world after the pandemic.

"Having political leaders with vision and the willingness to actually take bold steps is essential, but we cannot wait for that. We need to look for the leader in the mirror. Every one of us has leadership potential in our families, in our own communities," she told Rebuilding Paradise with Paul Henry.

"All of us [have the responsibility to drive change]. Anybody who is in a position within companies to influence what happens within the culture has a special responsibility."

She says although she doesn't want to minimise the incredible loss felt throughout the world due to COVID-19, she's "very optimistic" about post-pandemic life.

"I take this as an incredible opportunity to pause and reset… There's now an opportunity to imagine and build a world that is better, fairer and more compassionate."

This includes highlighting the health and wellness of workers and employees.

"If we don't get the mental resilience part right, the growing stress and anxiety is going to affect everything, both individual health and corporate productivity."

Huffington believes being in lockdown has helped people reconnect with themselves and ask some big questions.

"We've really felt that somehow we had to be on all the time in order to be able to get everything done, and FOMO - the fear of missing out - was dominating so many lives. So this is an opportunity to actually pause and ask ourselves some questions like what really matters, what is essential, what do we value."

She says being 'on' all the time harks back to the industrial revolution where machines were created to minimise downtime.

"But for humans, downtime is not a bug, it's a feature. We all need it in order to be our most creative, our most productive and our most empathetic."