Leadership has always been challenging, but the future of work will bring fresh challenges to future leaders. Over the next decade, leaders will have to face obstacles and challenges not faced by current or past leaders. But what are those challenges? As part of the research for my new book, The Future Leader, I interviewed more than 140 top CEOs from around the world and surveyed more than 14,000 LinkedIn users. One of the questions I asked was about the challenges future leaders would face. From their varied and insightful responses, I broke the challenges down to two main areas: futurize and humanize.
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According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Global Talent Trends Report, Employee Experience is the #1 thing that over 7,000 HR professionals are focusing on. I define employee experience as “creating an organization where employees WANT not NEED to show up to work by focusing on three environments: culture, technology, and space.”
What does it take to earn a near-perfect approval from your people? What about having an astounding 94% of employees say they would recommend working for you to a friend? It takes true leadership and putting principles into action. Making them your walk and your talk, not just lip service or words on a poster.
If you’ve ever played a sport or even watched a great team play, you know the importance of a good coach. Without a coach, even the most skilled players likely won’t reach their full potential. It takes someone with the vision to put the best team together, move people to the right positions, and train and encourage players to be their best to win championships. I interviewed more than 140 top CEOs for my new book, The Future Leader, and asked what skills they thought would be important for leaders in the next decade. Many of their most common responses fall under the skill of the coach, or translating those sports analogies to the business world.
Some organizations are great, some…not so much. You can tell the difference between these types of organizations almost as soon as you walk into the office, sit down for an in person or virtual interview, or talk to someone who works there. Truly great organizations care about their people and create high-quality employee experiences. These are the companies that are focused not just on increasing their bottom lines, but on building communities for their employees and customers where everyone is engaged and moving forward.
Will the leader of 2030 be that different than today and if so how? These were the two questions I wanted to answer in my new book, The Future Leader. I wrote the book before COVID-19 and now the insights and the research are especially more relevant since leaders are having to adapt and change quickly!
As with anything in the business world, things evolve and change. The evolution that we are seeing today continues to shift organizational priorities more and more toward focusing on people and bringing humanity and experiences into our organizations. This is an immensely exciting thing to see! Years ago with the advent of what many would consider modern business, focusing on utility made sense. At the time, it was just common practice, and pretty much every organization took the same approach. Then, this shifted toward productivity, getting the most out of people.
If you only had a few minutes to share a message with people, what would it be? How would you make sure it stood out and was memorable? That’s a question that future leaders will need to ask themselves as they communicate with their employees amid their busy schedules and other obligations, especially as their organizations grow. It’s also part of the reason why communication is such a vital skill for future leaders.
Over the past few years the conversations around AI and automation have taken center stage. Some people are excited to embrace the growth of AI, while others are frightened and worried about how our jobs and our lives will change because of it. But there’s still a lot of confusion around AI.
Business will never be the same as a result of COVID-19. We are all being forced to challenge our conventional ideas around work. I’ve written a few articles about this looking at the evolution of work, the evolution of leaders, and the evolution of employees. In this article I specifically want to look at how organizations are evolving.