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As we stand on the precipice of 2024, it is clear that the forces shaping our world demand a new approach to leadership — one that is adaptive, forward-thinking, and deeply human. The need to stay abreast of leadership trends has never been more critical, especially in the volatile year we are all in. The trends in this PDF are not mere reflections of transient changes in business strategy or management fads; they are harbingers of a deeper evolution in the very fabric of how organizations operate and how leaders must navigate an increasingly complex world.

Each year I work with, advise, and interview hundreds of business leaders around the world to understand what they are paying attention to and why. I then look for the common patterns to connect the dots and put together what I think are the most crucial leadership trends. For 2024 there are 8 leadership trends that I have identified.

Today, I share with you the first of the 8 trends followed by suggested actions items that you and your organization can take.

#1: Leading With Vulnerability

For several years we have heard about the power and value of vulnerability and Brene Brown’s research has significantly contributed to this shift, highlighting how vulnerability can lead to greater trust and connection within teams.

However, two things have become clear. Vulnerability in your personal life is not the same as vulnerability at work and vulnerability for leaders is not the same as it is for non-leaders. At work you have deadlines, customers, leaders, salary, teams, and a host of other things that create a unique dynamic. On top of that, leaders are the ones who are actually responsible for all of these things.

I define a vulnerable leader as “a leader who intentionally opens themselves up to the potential of emotional harm while taking action to create a positive outcome.” This type of a leader embraces The Vulnerable Leader Equation which you can see below.

We have been too focused on intentionally opening ourselves up to the potential of emotional harm and forgot about the action. A simple way to think about this is as follows. Vulnerability is about exposing a gap that you have (emotion, knowledge, experience, etc.). Leading with vulnerability is about exposing a gap that you have but them demonstrating what you are trying to do to close that gap. Instead of saying “I made a mistake” say, “I made a mistake, here’s what I learned, and here are 3 things I’m going to do to make sure that mistake doesn’t happen again in the future.

2024 is going to be the year where we combine competence with vulnerability. Where we don’t just focus on feelings and emotions but on results and leadership. I wrote an entire book on this very subject.

What you should do:

  • Whenever situations of vulnerability arise, ask how you can add leadership (competence) to the equation.

  • Encourage those around you to focus on coming up with solutions to problems instead of just pointing them out.

  • Instead of just talking about mistakes and challenges, focus on lessons learned and improvements that can be made in future situations.

  • Encourage employees to be more accountable for their work and their decisions and remind everyone that while they are valued members of a team, they still have a job that they need to do.

Next week I’ll share the second leadership trend which is WORK ETHIC

In the meantime if you download the full pdf of The Top 8 Leadership Trends of 2024, you can do that here. I go through each on in great detail and provide action items for what you should do as a result of each trend. In a world where change is the only constant, staying ahead means keeping a pulse on the future. This will be a CRUCIAL resource in your leadership journey for 2024. Click here to get the PDF.