BEYOND TRENDS: THE NEW LEADERSHIP PARADIGM
January is heaven for futurists. And January 2020 was a bumper year for articles on emerging trends in leaderships. ‘Leading with 2020 Vision‘ is the perfect pun after all!
But we say it is time to look beyond trends. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the defining transformation of our era, and it demands a new kind of leadership. More than changing trends, we are experiencing a shift in the leadership paradigm.
BEYOND TRENDS: THE NEW LEADERSHIP PARADIGM
Leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution demands a new kind of leadership. We’re launching a White Paper on our paradigm shifting leadership framework, Leadership 4.0, on 3 March. Think beyond trends and fashions. Equip your leaders to succeed in an ever-changing world by embracing the four elements of Leadership 4.0.
LEADING IN HEAD
Artificial Intelligence and data analytics are changing the way we all make decisions. Leading from the gut is not going to differentiate you anymore. You and your teams are going to need to make data-driven decisions if you are going to make the right call in fast-moving disruptive times.
One of our team was conducting insight interviews this week and asked a leader at our client’s organisation the simple question “what is one thing you do every day?”. Her response was simple “I look at my metrics”. Every single day she runs reports on cust ex, revenue, sales, employee satisfaction, and a range of other drivers of growth or indicators of potential risks. She paints a daily picture of the state of the business today, tomorrow, next month, next year, and in three years time!
She is a walking dashboard! And this is achieved through the intersection of digital analytics and human intellect.
Leading in Head is not about letting computers make decisions for us, but it is about engaging with technology to enable us, as leaders, to make more informed and better decisions. The speed and accuracy of big data analytics is improving week to week and the applications of that technology are becoming ever more clear. You can guarantee that your competitors or disruptive start ups are finding ways to use AI to make the right decisions and get ahead in your market. If you aren’t making data-driven decisions, you will, sooner or later, lose out.
LEADING IN HEART
The same leader was asked “what is one thing you do regularly that involves others?”. Her response was that she talks to customers and employees every single day. We explored that point with a her a bit more, seeking to understand why and how she does this. It’s not something that is diarised or scheduled. For this leader, it was simply a way of being, a way of operating that left space in her day to simply be with people.
This is the essence of Leading in Heart. It is about making time for communication, listening to stakeholders, coaching team members, and dealing with conflict. Interestingly, these are 5 of the top 10 functions identified in a recent report on managers as priorities for development because they are being done poorly.
So Leading In Heart is an essential behaviour to develop for leaders in the new paradigm. In a changing and ever-more digital world, a deep understanding of human motivation, empathy with others, and an awareness of self are more important than ever before.
LEADING IN HEALTH
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is not exclusively about changing technology. It is also about emerging aspirations, expectations, and motivations of a changing workforce. In the new paradigm, leaders need to recognise the importance of health and wellbeing to employees and organisations. There is ample evidence to assert that wellbeing in the workplace is an important driver of productivity and engagement. This includes mental, physical, financial, and emotional wellbeing.
It is also increasingly clear that workplaces which don’t prioritise and support a healthy culture and environment lose out in the long run: losing talent, losing productivity, and losing reputation.
Given the importance of health to employees and organisations, it may seem surprising that the charity Mind identified that only 43% of people who disclosed their mental health issue saw an improvement in their situation.
In contrast, 4.0 Leaders lift their heads from the go, go, go and invest time in developing and maintaining their own and their team’s wellbeing. Why? Because 4.0 Leaders go beyond engagement; they actively care about their people.
Leadership in the Fourth Industrial Revolution demands and depends upon a focus on Health in order to ensure resilience in uncertain times.
LEADING IN HABIT
Positive habits are essential for leaders in uncertain times. They become an anchor for the leader themselves, and a foundation and rallying point for their teams.
Habits enable authentic leadership, which build trusts, which, in turn, encourages followership. A leader with no followers is, at best, a manager, and at worst, a dictator. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is built and driven by leaders, not managers and autocrats.
To build effective habits that encourage others to follow you requires self awareness, adaption, consistent behaviour, and clarity on personal values.
While a 4.0 Leader’s individual habit may change, because they are always remaining true to their authentic self at work, their behaviour will always reflect their personal Value set, which is aligned to the Values and culture of their organisation.
In the seminal book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey outlines some great behaviours that are still relevant to 4.0 Leaders. Perhaps the one to remember in the new leadership paradigm is ‘Sharpen Your Saw’: continually develop, seek to improve, and look for opportunities to learn. Combined with clarity on direction and values, this way of being will enable many habits to thrive.