In the summer of 2020, I was picked up by peopleHum as part 1of my university’s placement process. Fresh out of college, as raw as ever and with zero knowledge of how things pan out in the corporate world, I was looking forward to getting acquainted with professional life when COVID-19 rained on my parade. Compelled to work a couple of months from home, much like everyone else, I felt I was lacking the learning that work in brick-and-mortar settings would have provided me with. This was coupled with the sheer inexposure to a diverse range of subjects that are trending and insights from people who really matter and successfully carve a niche for themselves professionally.
At this juncture, I was the luckiest to be a part of leadersHum - an assemblage of conversations on leadership development trends 2021 and other related topics that are the need-of-the-hour and that luminaries around the world contributed to. This was IT! The leadersHum platform, through its repository of interviews on the top leadership development thought leaders was where I could continue learning and adding to my knowledge while working from home whilst improving my soft skills in communication, decision-making and inter-personal connection.
Of the 50+ interviews that I have successfully taken yet, my personal favorite is the roundtable discussion on Coaching and Mentoring since these include the top 10 leadership development thought leaders of all time. Here is a glimpse of how the holistic conversation panned out with each influencer bringing their bit to the table after years of experience in their unique fields of expertise.
Top 10 leadership development thought leaders of 2021
Leaders’ role in ensuring employees are aligned with their purpose
Whitney Johnson is the Advisor to High-Growth Companies and Individuals, who works with venture-backed start-ups and Fortune 100 companies across a variety of sectors. She is a world-class keynote speaker, a popular contributor to the Harvard Business Review and frequent lecturer for Harvard Business School's Corporate Learning.
The Future of Leadership Development is the difference between a leader and a boss. The former leads and the latter drives. In other words, the speed of the boss is the speed of the team. A successful leader who tries to connect employees to the business purpose is one who accelerates the learning curve of the employees and supports them to optimize every growth possible in that area. The bottom line is for leaders to acknowledge that human beings are learning machines and that our brains are programmed to do their best work when challenged and learning.
Dave Ulrich is the Father of Modern HR. He is also the Co-founder and Principal of The RBL group.
In today’s time and age, it is essential to build the internal capacity and connect it outside. In other words, we need to ensure the experience we want to provide our customers with is replicated within workspaces first, by ensuring a positive employee experience. This can be in the form of sustainable employee engagement strategies, a humane outlook to managing employees and encouraging workers to focus on long-term self development, which can be translated into achieving business objectives.
Poonam Barua is the accomplished Business Leader, Economist, Independent Board Director, CEO of WILL Forum India, and Founder Chairman of the "Forum for Women in Leadership”, based in New Delhi. She is the Author of the Book "Leadership by Proxy: The Story of Women in Corporate India.
The first step for leaders to provide employees with a sense of purpose to their jobs is to ensure that there’s a work culture of equal opportunity and enough inclusivity. In that respect, women as leaders are doing a phenomenal job by capitalizing on their qualities of rational thinking, residence and public-spiritedness for fostering a sense of employee belongingness to the organization.
Gary A. Bolles
Gary A. Bolles is the Chair for the Future of Work at Singularity University. He is also the co-founder of eParachute.com and helps job-hunters & career changers, from youth to 50+ years, with online and in-person programs.
Employees today, especially the Generation Z and millennials want to know what they can do to change the world. They want to be a better version of themselves and find a sense of meaning in what they do. Here is where leaders play an important role in encouraging them to do better, providing them with the resources needed and reskilling and upskilling employees for preparing them better to embrace the Future of Work.
Change in leadership styles with COVID-19
Mark Crowley is the author of ‘Lead from the Heart’, one of the best guide books for leaders. He is a professional speaker and a leadership consultant, changing workplaces and leadership strategies.
With work-from-home and other future trends in leadership development, leaders’ agendas have taken a shift for the better with the issue of work-life balance stealing the spotlight. It is almost as if Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is making its mark all over again where leaders need to ensure every criteria of the pyramid is met for employees and the work-life balance is brought about, especially when lines between the two have blurred.
Dr. Tanvi Gautam
Dr. Tanvi Gautam is the founder of Leadershift, Inc. She's a program director at the Singapore Management University and is a certified business storytelling coach.
The role of a leader is to expand the range of possibility and potential for everything and everyone they come in contact with. In pre-COVID times, it was important for leaders to set direction, be ethical, create goals and be strategic. Now, when you are leading through different times, you could be talking about how you led pre-disruption, how you’re leading in disruption, how you will lead post- disruption. And above all, leaders need to expand their capacities themselves before they set out to expand the capacities of others.
John Baldoni is the globally recognized leadership coach and bestselling author who has been transforming workplaces and leaders for more than two decades.
In most interviews with leadership development thought leaders, leadership is spoken of as something that is ever-evolving. Two things have changed in leadership with the pandemic striking us. One is more women in management and leadership positions. This broadens the scope of leadership and fosters better diversity and inclusion in not just genders, but also people who think and act differently. The second is globalism and the fast pace of change. With geographies becoming blurred as the world comes closer, what happens in one corner can have an impact elsewhere. During such times, leaders have to be there for their people. While technology does its bit of uniting people, leaders need to do theirs by being seen, heard and accessible.
Mark Sanborn is the author of seven best selling books, who has been consulted for leading multinational organizations.
During leadership development and training in pre-pandemic times, there was this concept that leaders lead and employees follow. Now, everyone is on the same page, fighting against one common crisis. This calls for leaders to be more humane, understand their workers and recognize the fact that they have a head and a heart and need to be managed accordingly. So we have to treat the people we lead, not like followers, where we tell them what to do and they do it, but as collaborators and co-workers and colleagues and associates and team members. How you talk about the people you lead determines two things - it determines how you treat them and it also determines how they respond.
Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Development
Mark Metry is the bestselling author of “Screw being Shy”. He is also a Forbes featured Keynote speaker and Global Top 100 Humans podcast show host.Mark Metry - The bestselling author of “Screw being Shy”. He is also a Forbes featured Keynote speaker and Global Top 100 Humans podcast show host.
Efficient thought leadership development is when leaders understand the reality of being a human being and where they are there for employees when employees need them the most. Successful leaders create a family within the organization. Merely checking in on your people, recognizing the fact that they are going through equally challenging times and practicing empathy is what it means to be humane at work! The three Cs that define empathetic leaders are showing consideration, concern and compassion for your employees at work.
Yemi Faseun is the HR head at Globacom, a telecommunications firm. He is an elected leadership council member at the Chartered institute of Personnel Management in Nigeria.
Along with empathy, another non-negotiable is smooth communication. The workforce needs the right sort of communication to keep themselves going, to be agile and resilient and to avoid any kind of misunderstanding. There’s no-one better to ensure this than the leader of the organization. The three C's of leadership are also competence, character and care. We need those three things right now in the world more than at any other time in history.
In a nutshell, the insights that these leadership development thought leaders have provided me with through these interviews was really exhaustive since they touched upon the most relevant yet often-overlooked aspects that underlie successful leaders. Each of them is a storehouse of knowledge in their respective domains and I couldn’t be happier to be a part of a team to whom they imparted their take on trending subjects with tiny words of wisdom. To more such illuminating conversations in the years to come I look forward to, only through the platform of leadersHum!