Holly's Blog

Six future leadership trends

Holly welcomes guest blogger Monica Wells of BizDb-

Monica WellsDespite the fact that the last decade saw considerable investment made in executive training, a poll conducted by researchers from Harvard University showed that 70% of Americans consider leadership crisis a significant factor in the national economic decline. This is a very puzzling situation – on the one hand, we see a rising demand for leadership skills, on the other, many leadership development programs fail to deliver their promised results. What will be the future of leadership? Read on to learn about the most important future trends in leadership.

Flexibility and agility

A research study from the Institute of Leadership and Management suggests that the single most important feature of future leaders will be flexibility. (https://www.i-l-m.com/~/media/ILM%20Website/Documents/research-reports/future-trends/ilm-research-reports-future-trends%20pdf.ashx) In order to succeed in the future, mangers will need to become more agile, responsive and develop an ability to adapt to different needs generated by changing workplaces.

But that’s not the end of story. Those managers will also need to be open to cultural and technological changes that will impact the core of enterprise operations – their job will be to ensure that key management and leadership practices are adapted to the transforming context and carried out successfully.

Going global

Business globalization is no longer a mere idea, but a fact. The Global Leadership Forecast by a talent management consultancy DDI unveils that a growing concern is the idea of leadership across countries and cultures. “In an increasingly globalized world, it is still an issue for almost any size of organization,” says Simon Mitchell, UK general manager for DDI.(http://www.forbes.com/sites/karenhigginbottom/2014/08/26/leadership-development-around-the-world-remains-stalled/)

Businesses will become aware that leaders who operate outside the home market or are part of a team that stretches across borders require a host of specific skills – from coping with ambiguity to having effective interactions or making decisions in unfamiliar environments. All those become increasingly challenging in globalized environments.

Increased demand for core competencies

The report published by the Institute of Leadership and Management unveils another important future leadership trend to be an increase of interest in core skills such as motivating direct reports, communication, setting goals and task delegation. (https://www.i-l-m.com/~/media/ILM%20Website/Documents/research-reports/future-trends/ilm-research-reports-future-trends%20pdf.ashx)

The changing conditions are likely to affect the performance of those core tasks – managers will be operating with less time on their hands and in a much more complex working environment. In short, basic management tasks will become increasingly difficult to perform and managers might require additional training to help them adapt to new conditions.


A recent report from PWC suggests that next to agility and talent, one of the most important values in future leadership will be sustainability, understood in terms of demonstrating social responsibility by balancing achievable business results with a concern for the greater good. (https://www.pwc.com/us/en/people-management/assets/future-leadership-change.pdf)

Sustainability is much more than environmental issues – focusing on sustainability, managers will be looking towards the long-term consequences of their decisions relating to the environment, but also to health and safety. Social responsibility will become embedded into business processes and managers will be increasingly responsible for delivering insights about how their decisions impact the workforce and business climate.

Collective leadership

Another strong trend for the future is collective leadership. It’s likely that in a few years we won’t see any heroic leaders anymore, but a brand new form of leadership that will perfectly match the requirements posed by new working environments, where adaptive challenges cannot be tackled by an individual, but a group of people.

Some organizations are already embracing this leadership style in driving innovation, which is understood as a process initiated by an entire social network. Once Millennials take hold of leadership positions, we’ll see collective leadership styles flourish all over the place – but this new approach will definitely require a radical transition in thinking.

Generational difference management

Finally, we should acknowledge a major generational transformation which is about to take place in the leadership sector – the arrival of Millennials on the global leadership scene. In the near future, companies will have to learn how to mitigate the generational differences, which are bound to arise once Millennials get hold of executive jobs. Companies will also have to develop a host of new strategies to make the most from the unique qualities of this generation.

Millennials are generally considered team-players and high achievers. They’re independent, but tend to follow rules. They’re confident, but they also trust authority. Technological innovation is their natural world. All this can be expected to impact their leadership styles.

The future of leadership

All in all, leadership is bound to change radically in the near future. With many leaders feeling unprepared for the economy around them, leadership development programs should flourish and strive to provide training aimed at developing skills for addressing problems arising from economy globalization and current leadership gaps.

We’ll surely see more management policies fostering sustainability and witness a transition from the autocratic, control-and-command management style to its democratic variety. When it comes to leadership of the future, we’ll finally see its human face employed as a growing factor in business success by many global brands.

The author of the article, Monica Wells, is a Team Leader at http://www.bizdb.co.uk/ – a free UK company check platform including companies’ house filings. She believes in the potential of new technologies and the Internet to empower businesses and individuals.


How to Lose the Fear of Focus

    The business world moves so rapidly these days it’s a wonder anyone can keep up. While this create stress, it also opens up a host of opportunities for those with the vision and passion to pursue them. However, like a kid in a candy store with only a few dollars to spend, it […] Read more

Improve Employees’ Productivity with these Tools and Apps

Holly welcomes guest blogger Monique Rivers: In today’s office world, efficiency and productivity are top concerns of executives and business owners alike. We all want to complete more tasks in less time – fortunately, there are lots of smart technological solutions that can help managers to boost the productivity of their employees. Here are top […] Read more

Three Steps to Creating an Intentional Culture

Creating the right culture for an organization is a key component for long-term success. Unfortunately many leaders don’t know how to clearly define culture, much less build the one they want. Workplace culture is the character and personality of your organization. It’s what makes your organization unique, and is the sum of its values, traditions, […] Read more

Is Winning a Secret in Your Organization?

It feels good to win – in business as well as sports and almost any other endeavor. We all know winning when we see it or feel it. It’s that moment of excitement and exhilaration. It’s the urge to jump in the air and pump our fists; to give high-fives to our teammates. It’s that […] Read more

10 Clichés Leaders Use (and How to Avoid Them)

Holly welcomes guest blogger Sarah Landrum- As a leader, one of your responsibilities, among other things, is to make sure you and your employees remain on the same page. If you do that by bombarding them with clichés , however, it is likely you’ll end up with a team of bored, unmotivated and jaded people. […] Read more

10 Excuses for Not Developing Strategic Agility

In today’s warp-speed business world, strategic agility – the ability to move fast with flexibility and focus – is no longer a competitive advantage. It’s a business imperative. If your organization can’t adapt on the run without losing sight of winning, your competition will soon be looking at you through their rear-view mirror. Interestingly, when […] Read more

Employee Engagement 2015: Not Much Has Changed

Do you have an engaged, committed workforce?  How do you know? Here’s one way to find out. Each year, Gallup surveys a broad base of employees on this issue. They identified 12 key indicators that translate to high levels of employee engagement: I know what is expected of me at work. I have the materials […] Read more

Practice Your Way to Winning in 2015

Winning in business takes practice. Not just practicing any old thing, but practicing the right things. Far too often, however, I see organizations practicing the wrong things. For example: Conducting disorganized meetings where people arrive late, unprepared, and not focused on what’s really important Making decisions based on assumptions rather than hard data Failing to […] Read more

Stop Pretending to Be Rational at Work

At times, English can be an illogical, irrational and downright confusing language. Just look at all the homographs and heteronyms that crop up throughout the lexicon. A homograph is two or more words that are spelled the same but have different meanings. A heteronym is a homograph that is also pronounced differently. For example: Is […] Read more