Just because you become a leader in your organization doesn’t mean that the floor won’t drop out around you. That is what you, as a leader, have been chosen to handle. In fact, it is your quest if you accept it. There are some leadership trends that leaders always have to face, but with the right tact and skill, you can route a strong course and come out of it on top. Sit back and relax, we are here to help you identify 8 trends shaping the future of leadership and help you get through them!
As we all know the whole world is running towards innovation and new technologies. AI (Artificial Intelligence) is the one where “Machines think like men or are more accurate than them”. It’s no secret that technology is evolving at a breath-taking pace. For hiring and recruitment, managers must go through a vast number of resumes, selecting best-fit candidates.
Today, AI and automation can offer tremendous support by automating iterative tasks, sifting through hundreds of CVs, analyzing applicant sentiment, and digging out enough information to understand who fits in best with the existing organizational culture and carries the set of skills and competencies to fill the organization appropriately.
There are a number of digital tools for this, starting from Bruhat Insights Global which uses AI to prevent ghosting (where confirmed candidates ‘ghost’ after accepting the offer). Artificial intelligence has the power to completely transform how businesses operate and people work. But with the excitement of AI and new technology comes fear and uncertainty. It’s up to leaders to assuage those fears by looking for ways to implement AI that acts as an enabler for employees instead of replacing their jobs.
Leaders need to calm their fears and remain positive about new technology. They need to be well-versed with AI and need to be willing to experiment with new technologies so they can help others understand its potential impact on their jobs.
Pace of change
Right alongside the growth of AI and technology is the overall pace of change. How we live and work is drastically different today from what it was five years ago—let alone 20 or 30 years ago. There are a plethora of examples from the corporate leadership and the non-corporate world where business and political leaders struggled midway through the change initiatives to stem the losses and to manage the fallout from sudden, disruptive, and disorienting change.
A leader is the one who leads the people. To lead them, they need to adapt to the circumstances first. Thereafter, they need to tell their fellowships about the pace of change. Change surrounds us in the form of climate change, globalization, diversity, and dozens of other things. Change is constant and has always been so. What’s different about today is the rate at which change occurs.
To be successful, organizations must be constantly looking forward, and leaders must lean in and embrace change instead of shying away from it. The future of leadership needs to be agile, easily adaptable and comfortable in challenging the status quo. In fact, driving organizational change is a complex and difficult endeavor which disrupts the status quo and hence, it can have unanticipated effects. This is more the reason for business leaders to be in charge of the direction and pace of such change.
Purpose and meaning
Companies in the past used to be able to easily attract top talent with the promise of a high salary. Today, that is no longer the case. Employees now want to work for an organization that offers purpose and meaning, and they’re even willing to take a pay cut to get it. Purpose is the reason for an organization’s existence and often includes things like investing in employees, making a difference in the world or driving innovation.
Meaning is the personal impact of each employee’s work. Meaningful work represents an opportunity to transition from organizational practices that seek to simply maximize effort and output. Employees want to see that their efforts are impactful and contributing to the overall purpose of the company. Leaders must first understand their own job, purpose, impact, and meaning before helping their employees do the same. They need to get to know employees individually, to understand what motivates them.
New talent landscape
Recent years have brought tremendous change to the overall talent landscape, and what’s more? This is only the beginning. As older employees retire and younger generations enter the workforce, many companies find themselves on the constant hunt for skilled employees. At the same time, diversity and inclusion are becoming even more important.
The new talent landscape is more than just changing demographics. It’s a new approach to attract and retain talent while also training and upskilling employees to be prepared for the future of work.
As mentioned earlier, there is a rapid growth in AI and in technology, which makes the job simpler and easier. Hence a machine is doing the job of a person. This is the main reason why major companies fire their employees. Every employee must know their place in the organisation, where they stand and how they can upskill themselves. Leaders of the future should strive to develop diverse teams and create an inclusive environment.
They need to invest in upskilling employees while also finding ways to involve older employees and motivate employees of all ages to take control of their own career development. One of the biggest challenges that leaders face today is having their employees upskilled.
As technology grows, the world becomes more connected and seems smaller. Each country used to have its own economy, but now we can work with and communicate instantly with people all over the world. All businesses are now global and have the potential for attracting employees and customers from different nations. Globalization is also transforming the world economy by increasing the interrelationships with other countries through trade and finance.
According to one observer, globalization is driven by a near-universal push towards trade and capital market liberalization, increasing internationalization of corporate production and distribution strategies, and technological change that is eroding barriers in a quick way to the international tradability of goods and services and the mobility of capital. Globalization brings complex geo-political issues and great opportunities to collaborate and share with other cultures.
Future leaders need to embrace globalization by becoming global citizens who appreciate different cultures and knowing how to communicate across cultural and language barriers. Foreign ideas should be viewed as opportunities, not fear-filled challenges. The future of leadership needs to pay attention to global issues and understand what is happening around the world.
Motivation to stay, culture issues
Sometimes culture-related issues may make you demotivated. You might be a company that doesn’t get along well as a team, has communication issues, gossips, or has undermining team members. Whatever it is, you are going to have to deal with it as the leader. These sort of things will demotivate leaders because these culture issues might divert our people from work. This may dissolve the team unity and would result in a dip in the organizational output.
Changing cultural habits in an organization isn’t easy, but you set the tone. If you don’t want people to gossip, don’t gossip. If you want teams to work better together, you have to work well with teams to instill full motivation lest the organization falls flat. It happens to the best of us, but what you need to do is master all of the good stuff around you and get back on track.
Don’t spend time dwelling on what isn’t working unless you can fix it. You won’t always be the number one cheerleader in your mind, but your team is expecting you to be one. So get out there and share the enthusiasm that you have, even when you are a little off your game. Being constantly motivated is the main role of a leader.
Morality, ethics, and transparency
Gone are the days of controlling leaders, who try to be the smartest person in the room. A recent push for morality, ethics and transparency has led to more authentic and humble leaders. Companies with ethical foundations perform better financially and have higher customer and employee satisfaction. These types of organizations are created by moral leaders. It is also important to recognize that leaders are being put under a microscope as people demand transparency.
Leaders can no longer hide behind their title—they must be open and honest to their companies and the employees. Leaders of the future must determine their own moral compasses and have a strong sense of their personal beliefs. Simply standing still is no longer good enough. Leaders need to take a stand and be as transparent and authentic as possible.
To build an ethical company, you must start from the top down. Your employees will see your behavior, choices, and values and will adopt them in their own practices. "To effectively lead, the ethical leader walks the line he or she wants others to follow," said Younger. "Leading by example is the best way to ensure an ethical business." It instils respect and lets your employees see that you truly believe in them and trust them to work. The leader must be transparent to his/her colleagues in a way that engages and motivates people to work and contribute more to the organization. This quality will definitely upskill you and make your organization flourish.
Handling a dud
Every once in a while, a project doesn’t work out or the event turns out unsuccessful. Don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. How you handle it is what matters. Don’t let your team go down into a spiral of self-pity or blame. Just dust yourself off and figure out how the next thing is going to be awesome. These failures may happen due to the lack of correct communication. Inevitably someone is going to reply to an email that they shouldn’t have, a team member isn’t going to get the deadline straight, or someone just isn’t going to get the memo at all.
Communication issues are probably your number one stressor as a leader. Practicing your skills at being clear and brief will benefit the entire organization. Leadership isn’t just about the hard stuff, but it is a big part of shouldering the responsibility. Each time you have to grapple with something difficult, you are practicing how to do it better because stuff will always come up. Your growth in leadership is dependent on the lessons you learn on dealing with the good and the bad.
A leader should always want to differ from the ‘Boss’. A leader always has his respect among the workers unlike a boss, of whom the employees will always be fearful. Being a boss is easy but the development of an organization is in the hands of the leader. A leader should not always yell at his/her people. They should be kind and be cognizant of employees’ positives and steer his/her path according to his workers. A Boss has the title but a leader has the people.
"A Boss has the title but a leader has the people."
In sum, a leader is an extremely powerful word that has the potential to change the entire world. These are a few leadership trends that will change the future of a leader.
Do you have any additions to this list? We'd love to hear them!