The Future of Leadership

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”

 John C. Maxwell

More than ever, we need to look forward as well as learn from the past to anticipate the needs of effective leadership and prepare ourselves to meet these standards.  It’s evident that simply relying on our past best practices alone won’t be enough – we have to be more creative than that now. The Future of Leadership: getting started on preparing for the road ahead.

According to Forbes leadership author Benjamin Laker:

The business landscape is undoubtedly changing. While some aspects of leadership, such as setting a vision and executing on strategy, will remain, the future leader will need to possess a new arsenal of skills and mindsets to lead effectively. This is because our businesses will look and operate fundamentally differently in ten years, which means we need a new type of leader at the helm of these organizations.” [1]

I believe there are some key components of this future leadership model shaped by several trends:

  1. Emphasizing Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This involves the ability to understand and manage emotions effectively. Relationships will drive results, particularly as workplaces become more diverse and global. (If you’d like to dive in further, we have a past series of blogs about EQ here.)
  2. Understanding the Demands of Innovation. Future leaders will have to be more innovative and open to new ideas.  They will have to embrace learning to become more agile and adaptable.
  3. Being Technologically Savvy. Leaders must have a solid understanding of technology and its applications in the workplace.  They must stay up to date on evolving technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain.
  4. Becoming Truly Collaborative. As teams become more diverse and distributed, leaders must build and manage high-performing teams whose members understand concepts like mission focus and the leader’s intent. How well does your team know their Azimuth?
  5. Demonstrating Competence in Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility. Leaders of the future will have to be able to balance the needs of their stakeholders as well as broader social concerns.

In an upcoming set of blog posts, I plan to address the theme of “the future of leadership.” Stay tuned as I plan to cover these trends and examine some corresponding “tools for the toolbox” for leaders of the future.

Enjoy the journey!

[1] This quote is from an article posted online by Forbes: “This Is What Leadership Will Be In 2030” by Benjamin Laker; August 5, 2020.

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