What Does it Mean to Be a Leader in Today’s World?
The past two years have been filled with change, uncertainty, challenges, and obstacles. The foreseeable future looks to hold more of the same. Today’s leaders face a seemingly impossible task – to grow [or at least sustain] the business while attracting and retaining employees whose priorities have shifted.
What does it mean to lead in today’s world? What qualities and skills do today’s leaders need to possess to meet the many challenges they’re facing?
In stark contrast to traditional leadership, today’s successful leaders are expected to be others-focused and to lead with humility. Now, more than ever, leaders need to lean into and strengthen their ability to connect. They must relate, show empathy, and build relationships with the members of their teams.
What does leadership look like today?
Successful leaders foster a culture of acceptance and connection. Many of their employees have been working remotely, removed from the physical work environment. The incidental conversations, natural connections, and relationships that develop when colleagues work in the same space are not happening.
Today’s leaders need to appreciate, cultivate, and celebrate diversity within their teams. This includes diversity of thoughts and opinions. Employees need to get curious about each other and about other points of view. There are more generations in today’s workforce than ever before. (Let that sink in for a minute. Imagine the diversity of personal and professional experiences!)
What are the qualities of a successful leader in today’s world?
Leaders continue to face more demands on their time and on their mental and emotional resources. Those leaders who successfully lead their teams and organizations forward possess a number of qualities.
- They manage stress successfully – practicing self-care and a proactive approach to problem-solving.
- They are seen as credible – combining knowledge and expertise with dependability.
- They communicate with empathy – honestly acknowledging hardships and focusing on moving forward together.
- They communicate regularly – fostering a sense of community and lessening employee stress by sharing information.
- They engage their employees– seeking out and being receptive to employees’ opinions.
This list illustrates how important it is for leaders to connect with and relate to their employees. However, it’s important to recognize that this skill does not come easily to all leaders.
Can leaders learn to connect with their employees?
Of course leaders can learn the skills they need to be successful in today’s changing world. Organizations that prioritize developing their leaders benefit at all levels.
Consider bringing in a leadership keynote speaker to educate and inspire your organization’s leaders to meet the challenges of today and be prepared for the unpredictability of tomorrow. I’m highlighting three of the best here: Michelle Joyce Speakers Colette Carlson, Jim Knight, and Steve Gutzler.
Colette Carlson – The Connected Leader
Colette is an expert on building connections in the workplace. She knows leaders must connect authentically – on a human level – with their employees. This is true whether they are communicating virtually or in person.
Why does Colette consider it vital that you become a Connected Leader in today’s digitally-distracted, constantly-changing world? Because when you are truly connected to your people, you’ll be able to:
- Drive positive change through intentional and impactful communication, thoughtful questions, and empathetic listening.
- Earn trust, respect, and loyalty from your teams and colleagues.
- Learn specific communication techniques that will inspire action and cooperation, address conflict, and extract more value and productivity from your teams.
- Seek and encourage healthy feedback.
- Create a culture of open communication where people connect, grow, and flourish.
Building authentic connections allows leaders to create a culture of clarity, transparency, inclusion, and accountability. In other words, the kind of culture where all employees can thrive, even during times as challenging as those we’ve faced and continue to face.
Jim Knight – Leadership That Rocks
Jim shows us that leaders who connect and build relationships can also be leaders who bring energy and excitement. In other words, leaders that rock!
With his renowned rock star vibe and energy, Jim’s programs focus on amping up organizational culture, delivering world-class differentiated service, and building rock star teams and leaders. Within these programs, he also highlights some critical facets of leadership, including:
- Becoming heart-centered
- Developing emotional bank accounts
- Amping up communication
- Providing mentorship and accountability
A leader that rocks know how to grow the business, and attract and retain outstanding talent. But to do that, to achieve true rock star leader status, you also have to be a leader who connects.
Steve Gutzler – Emotional Intelligence for Extraordinary Leadership
Research shows 83% of the time, people are able to manage tasks and relationships effectively. Then there’s the other 17%. That’s when things get hard – interactions are difficult, work is challenging, and things may feel outside of your control.
Steve challenges audiences on how they react as leaders in those 17% moments.
We’re living in the 17% now more than ever. Now is when leaders need to lean into or develop emotional intelligence and true leadership. Those are the moments that define you as a leader and become your reputation.
Steve’s program takes audiences into the brain science of emotions and how to self-regulate. You’ll discover how to make cortisol, the stress hormone, work for you as you learn to master your emotions, moods, and attitudes. Steve’s program is filled with practical, actionable tips and strategies to help you connect more deeply with your team members and coach them more effectively. In other words, you’ll be ready to lead in today’s world
Give your leaders the support they need to succeed.
Leadership has changed. New generations of employees with different priorities, our changing world, and the challenges of the past two years have all contributed to a shift in what successful leadership looks like. Today’s leaders need to connect with customers, employees, and other leaders. Give your organization a competitive advantage by equipping your leaders with the skills they need to connect.
Learn more about all of our leadership speakers by connecting with us here.