What Leadership Needs in the Decade Ahead

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It’s impossible to predict the future, but I believe we can use pattern recognition to help anticipate a paradigm shift of leadership. You may be surprised to find that what are leadership buzzwords or widely accepted ways of doing business today most likely won’t be in ten years from now. So, what will? How do you begin preparing for a shift in leadership with an eye toward the future? Looking ahead, what will business owners and entrepreneurs need to successfully navigate this next decade?

According to author of Future Leader, Jacob Morgan, who interviewed 140 global CEOs (of companies like Audi, Mastercard, Unilever, Oracle, and SAP) and surveyed over 14,000 employees, there are four mindsets and five skills that our current business leaders believe will be needed in our future leaders.

«Some of the important mindsets are things like being able to think big picture, being able to surround yourself and be comfortable leading those who are not like you and being a part of teams, people of different cultures, backgrounds, geographies,» he said in a recent episode of my podcast, Unmessable. And that rings true for me.

But in addition to those, having consulted for more than 10,000 senior business leaders from around the globe, my team and I believe that there are three major paradigm shifts coming and those who mastered these will unquestionably stand out.

Looking from the whole

The current business paradigm is designed to serve and benefit: I, my team, my company. That’s been a useful mindset up until now, but will be insufficient for what’s to come. The next level up is developing a mindset and ability to look from the whole and get to work on serving all stakeholders: shareholders, customers, suppliers and employees.

So begin developing that muscle for yourself, and let yourself go to a place where you can envision solutions that benefit all constituents. When you strive for a collective win, your leadership game gets elevated, performance is dialed-in, and your work becomes more meaningful.

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High integrity cultures

While this is beginning to percolate in the world of business, we are just touching the tip of the iceberg. Michael Jensen, Emeritus Harvard Professor, wrote what I think is a brilliant white paper clearly showing that integrity tightly correlates to and impacts workability.

If you and your team can discover for yourselves that yes, in fact, there is a link between integrity and workability, and get to work on elevating it, naturally, your team’s performance will rise. Planting these roots in now will help these cultural shifts to manifest more quickly, but still organically.

The audio has to match the video

The head of HR of a large pharmaceutical company came up with this phrase in one of our sessions together and I just love it. It’s paramount that the audio matches the video, so to speak.

Take Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. He is widely recognized as someone who lives the values of the organization, listens to what people have to say and has a capacity to put what he already knows out of the way, so he can be in a constant growth mindset. And the numbers speak for themselves. Since he took office, the share price has quadrupled.

He leads the very transformation in his organization that he preaches, in every interaction. In other words, there is no gap in what he says and what he does. This is how you want to lead. Keep closing the gap between what you preach and who you are being.

Navigating these next 10 years with these concepts in mind will put you steps ahead of the rest. By beginning to ponder and eventually embody these crucial paradigm shifts, you’ll unquestionably position yourself powerfully to lead.

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