Great leaders attract the best talent and seize the greatest opportunity, whilst allowing space for staff to feel psychologically safe and be themselves. In this event, we explored the characteristics that embody a great leader; some of the key trends affecting leadership currently; and practical applications of leadership for this year, and years to come.
Key Trends affecting leadership
1. Ways of Working Revolution
Around half of employees in Australia are eager to get back to a 5-day, in-office working week. However, the other half would prefer to stick with a hybrid working week
2. Talent Upheaval
‘The Great Resignation’ or ‘The Great Reshuffle’, is now happening at a rapid rate within Australia. NAB research tells us that 1 in 5 professionals changed jobs last year.
3. Technology Pressure
At the start of COVID, many companies underwent rapid technologic advances, the likes of which had not been seen before. This trend is set to continue, with AI at the forefront.
4. Geo-political Instability
Supply chain, markets, resources and talent are ever-present trends that are not going anywhere, and will continue to have a profound impact on the way in which we lead.
What are the key traits of strong leadership at this time?
Being open to new ways of thinking allows space for your employees to discover and validate their ideas and identity. It is also a key aspect when planning for the future, for instance, developing a range of hypotheses that can answer a range of situations rather than focussing on a fixed plan.
Anchor to Identity
When it comes down to a make-or-break situation, anchor to an identity by focussing, not on what you might do, but rather how you might do it. “People will follow us, not because we have a map, but because they have confidence in our compass”.
Arrange ‘stay interviews’ to support staff retention, raising questions like: ‘What makes a good/bad day at your job?’; ‘What can I do as a leader to help you have more good days?’ This provides a clear indicator of the employee’s attitude towards work, and opens up opportunities to support them.
Seeing the humanity in employees has never been more vital. Two ways to increase your own humanity: (1) admit when you don’t know the answer and (2) own up to your mistakes. You can also encourage this trait with employees who are highly productive but tend to put work above everything else, by sharing your own personal wellbeing plans with them, leading by example.
Over the next 6 months, building more human and connected workplaces should be your aim as the leader of a successful business. We are social animals, and these aspects need to come first for success to follow.
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