Best practices in business never stay the same. And successful leadership styles are always growing, changing and evolving. Have you ever stopped to wonder what the business leaders of the next generation – and beyond – will look like? What will they focus on? What will they avoid? What passions will drive them, and what tools will they make use of? Today’s trends give us a glimpse of tomorrow’s leadership hot topics:
Today’s technologies are rapidly developing, and businesses in all industries are finding new ways to implement a wealth of technology tools to maximize employee productivity, efficiently serve consumers and do much more. Artificial intelligence is being utilized to supplement the roles of employees in some industries, as well. The leaders of tomorrow will need to embrace ever-changing technology to keep up with competitors and maximize their business resources. Staying current with technology trends is always a challenge, and as things grow and change more and more rapidly, it will continue to be incredibly important.
Rate of change
The world moves more quickly today than it did even a decade ago. Lifestyles and work patterns are different from previous generations, and we are all expected to accomplish more and more each day than those before us. While it’s true that we have technologies, tools and tricks that were not available to previous generations, it’s still hard to keep up with how quickly things are changing. And it’s not just the pace of work that is changing. The worldview on diversity, the focus on workplace globalization and even general climate change are changing too. Successful organizations must constantly be aware of these and other factors in order to stay relevant. The leaders of tomorrow must be flexible, responsive and able to adapt to quick changes in a variety of different arenas.
Top level talent is seeking more than a paycheck when job hunting. Prime candidates are also looking for a company that has a strong purpose. Purpose can be exemplified by how a company cares for its employees, how they are involved in the community or make a difference in the world or how they innovate to change an industry or solve a problem. Employees at all levels want to “be a part of something bigger” and are often willing to take a pay cut to find a place that echoes causes close their heart. Leadership talent will seek a company with heart, and they will also want to ensure that their employees are well cared for. All of this requires careful planning and thought, but also cannot feel contrived or forced.
The never ending hunt for cream-of-the-crop skilled employees is nothing new. But the way companies find and retain new talent is changing. There is an increased focus on creating diverse teams and environments that are all-inclusive. There is also additional emphasis on all employees continually investing in their own career development. Employees of all ages and skill levels should be encouraged to continually learn, add new skills, mentor others and continually prepare for the next steps in their career.
Effective leaders do not hide behind titles and processes and procedures in corner offices. Instead, they are transparent and demonstrate superior personal and professional ethics and a general sense of morality that employees admire and seek to emulate. Companies with ethical leaders and strong moral convictions tend to have happier employees and more satisfied customers. Leaders of the future must remember to be hard working, efficient and effective, but to also demonstrate humility and unfailing care for others as part of their leadership role.
Technology has allowed companies of all sizes to do business with others anywhere in the world. Suddenly, our world is a lot smaller. While this opens up vast potential for companies – in terms of partner companies, international employees and international customers – it also causes a variety of challenges. Leadership today and in the future need to know how to address cultural and language barriers and view global business as an opportunity, not something to be feared or avoided.