Leadership. That ten-letter word which is still so incredibly pertinent in our modern business world. And as I find my own role and my own client work interjecting with leadership daily, I often find myself musing on the term. What it means. What it will mean. And what the future holds for those in a leadership team in the coming years.
So, I’ve dusted off my crystal ball and had a think about the impact current trends may have on the shape and look of leadership teams in the future. Here are five of our latest predictions:
‘My role has blurry parameters’: According to INSEAD, 2017, our Boards of Ten Years’ time will be larger, include a wider array of professionals and be much more multi-disciplinary. Gone will be the days of the static CEO, COO, CMO, CTO etc. Instead we can expect to see individuals wearing ‘multiple hats’, more cross functional agendas and a more strategic and outcomes focus to job titles than discipline or trained expertise.
‘We are agile’: We have already seen the 5- and 10-year strategic plan die a slow and quiet death, as we acknowledge that even the next month can be hard to predict let alone the coming 60. We see this trajectory continuing, with a leadership team’s purpose being to execute a new kind of agile strategic thinking.
‘I want to feel less lonely’: For years we have understood how those top leadership jobs can be lonely. Roger Jones’ research, in the HBR 2018, unveiled that it is not uncommon for CEOs to feel trapped, paranoid, dazed, confused, self-doubting and isolated. But like all great trends in mental health we see a move towards this no longer being accepted as part of the gig. Instead I see us providing more support, understanding and breaking down this stigma of ‘everything needing to be OK’.
‘I listen more than I speak’: We know that there is greater awareness now of the need to listen as oppose to direct. We see this in reverse mentoring. In bottom up strategic workshops. And we see this also continuing. As we move generally away from autocratic leadership to that of being authentic, we know that humility, openness and inclusivity remain absolutely paramount.
‘We love diversity’: Of course, this reflection wouldn’t be complete without a nod to diversity. We see this trend in action. In some cases, much slower than is needed; but we are headed in the right direction and long may it continue.
Will you take some time out to stop and reflect? Perhaps the long bank holiday weekend has given you some food for thought – what else may our future world of leadership look like? I for one am excited to see.