One of the things that I don’t see anybody talking about is the decline in work ethic. I hear this time and time again from the leaders that I work with and interview, especially off camera. The general theme is that “work hard” has become akin to a bad phrase to utter inside the organization. We are scared to talk about sacrifice, doing more, and going above and beyond.

The concept of work ethic, especially in today’s dynamic and evolving workplace, is more critical than ever for leadership and organizational culture. A strong work ethic encompasses dedication, reliability, and a commitment to producing high-quality work that not only meets but exceeds expectations. This foundational value is instrumental in navigating the complexities of modern work environments, including remote operations and the integration of new technologies.

Leaders who prioritize and embody a solid work ethic set a powerful example for their teams, fostering an environment where diligence, responsibility, and excellence are the norm. By actively promoting these values, organizations can enhance productivity, encourage employee engagement, and maintain a competitive edge in their industry. Cultivating a culture that celebrates hard work and integrity ensures that teams are aligned with the organization’s goals, driving collective success and sustainable growth.

This doesn’t mean that employees need to be treated unfairly, that they need to be overworked, or that having a healthy personal life is not important.

Marc Randolph, the former CEO of Netflix told me that one of his rules for success is to do 10% more than what is asked. Today it feels like employees want 10% more while doing 20% less. It’s time to make working hard cool again!

What you should do

  • Recognize and reward top performers.
  • Highlight the behavior you want to see inside of your company.
  • Be honest about the requirements and expectations of working at your company and the role.
  • Lead by example.

In the dynamic landscape of modern leadership, the eight trends I’ve discussed—Leading With Vulnerability, AI & Technology, Hybrid Work, Navigating Geopolitical, Economic, and Political Issues, Reinforcing Work Ethic, Enhancing Employee Experience, Prioritizing Skills Not Jobs, and Thinking Like a Futurist—represent not just shifts in management philosophy but a roadmap for navigating the complexities of the 21st century.

These trends underscore the evolving nature of leadership, emphasizing the importance of adaptability, empathy, and innovation. As leaders look to the future, the integration of these trends into their strategic planning and daily operations becomes imperative.

Leaders who navigate these changes effectively will not only inspire their teams and drive organizational growth but also contribute to shaping a more inclusive, innovative, and resilient global business environment. The journey ahead is complex, but for those willing to embrace these trends, it is ripe with opportunities to redefine leadership for a new era.

Stay tuned for the third leadership trend, Employee Experience that I will share with you next week!

Leadership is changing dramatically and there are 8 trends you need to know about if you want to lead effectively in 2024 and beyond. I put together a PDF that not only walks you through what these 8 trends are, but it also gives you action items for each one. This will be an invaluable resource for your leadership journey in 2024 and beyond. Click to download the free pdf!