Leadership is changing right before our eyes, but what should leaders be doing to adapt and to make sure that they are staying on top of their leadership game? This is a question I’ve been asked quite a bit by my community so I wanted to share 5 things you can do.
1) Do some basic education
No more of this “heads down” mentality, stick your head up and start paying attention to what is happening around you. Read the news, look at trending stories, listen to podcasts, watch videos, etc. You have to give yourself some time to be curious and to explore. This sounds simple and basic…which it is…but you’d be surprised how many leaders out there are so caught up in the day to day aspects of work, that they forget to look beyond their noses! Your challenge: spend 10-15 mins a day just catching up on what’s happening in the world around you.
2) Talk to people
Your employees, your leaders, your peers…talk to all of them and ask them the following questions:
- What trends are you paying attention to in the world and why?
- What implications do you see these changes having on leadership, your career, and on the organization as a whole. Your challenge: speak with 3 people you work with and ask them these questions.
3) Join groups
If you aren’t a member of my Facebook group I encourage you to join, it’s called “The Future If” and we have over 2,000 people from around the world who come together to explore all sorts of issues and topics…and have some fun too. Of course there are plenty of other groups out there and associations, take advantage of them. Your challenge: Join a group where you can participate in discussion about the future, your career, and how the world is changing.
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4) Surround yourself by people who are not like you
This is one of the most crucial mindsets for future leaders and it’s one that I refer to as “the global citizen.” From the 140 CEOs I interviewed for my new book, The Future Leader, this was one of the 4 mindsets that they said is essential to practice. If you’re an older white guy surrounded by other older white guys then you won’t be able to learn, grow, and adapt when you need to. You have to surround yourself by people who don’t: believe in the same things that you believe in, look like you, act like you, and think like you. This is tough for leaders to do because we all want to be in our comfort zone…it’s to break out of it if you want to adapt. Your challenge: Look at who you surround yourself with and do a quick check, is everyone around you like you?
5) Be a lighthouse
Part of adapting and evolving as a leader is understanding that as you grow and develop you must take others with you. A lighthouse without ships in the water is useless. As you become a better leader remember to shine your line onto others and onto the sea of uncertainty that we are all a part of. Your challenge: Do something this week that helps one of your peers or co-workers.
I hope this helps you, if you have any other tips or strategies you are using to keep up with your leadership game let me know!
If you enjoyed the article and want more content like this here’s what you can do:
- Subscribe to The Future of Work Podcast where I interview business leaders around the world each week.
- Grab a copy of The Future Leader which has been endorsed by the CEOs of MasterCard, Best Buy, Oracle, Audi, Unilever, Domino’s Pizza, Ritz Carlton, Kaiser, and Marshall Goldsmith. It explores the most essential skills and mindsets for future leaders.
- If you are or want to be an entrepreneur then my wife and I just launched a brand new podcast on how to Be Your Own Boss, called the BYOB Podcast where we share what we did and how we did it. You can subscribe to that here.