Some say leaders are born. Others believe that with the right training and experience, anyone can elevate themselves into a leadership position. In today’s workforce, leaders around the globe are adapting to things never seen before. Some examples include managing multiple generations at once, finding new ways to connect to their team, and combating buzzword trends like The Great Resignation (an influx of voluntary resignations across the workforce) and Quiet Quitting (being actively disengaged at work).
As we lean into a world where flexibility and connection are some of the top asks from employees, we’ll tell you exactly what’s needed for a leader to thrive in our current environment.
Decide, Commit & Communicate
Leaders are strategic and focus their attention on driving goals forward. Understanding how to move from analysis to decision will ensure the team stays aligned. Once a decision is made, effective communication will show the team this strategy is well thought out. It will encourage employees to openly discuss other matters with those in charge. From big budget cuts to project management and implementing policy change, the decision-making skills of a leader require quick analysis, the ability to choose, and strong communication.
One of the greatest qualities of a true leader is recognizing that learning is endless. Companies will grow through transitions, including shifts in the workforce, policy updates, and new technology. A curious leader accepts that while they bring a breadth of knowledge to contribute, there is equally a lot left to learn. Be curious, not only for an individual career path, but through encouraging a culture of development in your team. Showing support for their growth will build stronger employees that work better together.
The head of a department is responsible for the overall success or failure of the team. Therefore, accountability is a critical skill of a leader. Being able to recognize an error, take ownership of the action, and create a solution keeps the team moving forward. The more a leader embodies accountability in their day-to-day actions, the more likely their direct reports will value this skill.
Challenge the Status Quo
Exposure often allows those in leadership roles to see and be seen. They may be included in meetings about the state of the business or sit at a roundtable of changemakers. This access is a privilege that can be used to challenge the status quo of an outdated way of working. Leaders should say what they think, being brave enough to stand for change even if they are the only voice speaking up in the room.
An Eye for Innovation
In the past, the workplace held onto age-old principles that stood the test of time. However, with recent changes to our workforce – from multigenerational teams to technology – encouraging and adopting innovative ideas to work smarter will pay off. When in a changemaking position, first survey the land to gain an understanding of why things are done the way they are. Then, open your mind to new ideas, calling on the team’s talent.
Becoming a thoughtful and connected leader often takes years of experience, shared influences and continuous development. With new technology pushing the limits of our opportunities, leaders who can decide, commit, and communicate will see quicker progress made in their organization. The impact of a leader’s choice can affect an entire organization. After observation, keep a close eye open for innovation in your industry. If there is growth in startups with policy changes and fresh ideas, it may be a good idea to follow the trend. Practice open accountability, which will show the team you lead by example and support each employee’s contribution to the overall goals.