We have been operating in an uncertain and complex world for some time now, but never on a scale as big as 2020. We continue to live through massive change, social unrest, economic insecurity, and pervasive uncertainty. The work world has been forever transformed, where the lines between work and home are blurred, and new levels of adaptability and flexibility are table stakes – for any leader and in any organization.
It’s been hard and it has been insightful. It continues to be difficult and it provides leaders with unprecedented and emergent challenges and opportunities. And nobody knows what’s next.
Brave leaders must show up and navigate their teams and organizations through this blended, distributed and tumultuous reality.
Courageous leaders must be inspiring, understanding, curious and human-first.
Future-thinking organizations must invest in equipping leaders to forge their teams, fuel positive cultures, and deliver extraordinary results.
And to achieve this and ensure organizations can thrive for years to come, leaders must become fluent in a new leadership language that embraces this future and empowers them to lead like never before.
WHAT WILL YOU COMMIT TO?
How are you leading your teams in this uncertain world?
What continues to hold you back from stepping into this future?
What would it change for you to have confidence and clarity to lead in this new world?
We define the new language of leadership within a connected framework of five fluencies. While individually some of these are not new concepts or practices, together they address the imperative for change and are more important than ever.
We believe coaching is the superpower of leadership for the next generation of leaders. It’s maybe not what you think coaching is or has been. It’s not telling, giving advice or providing the playbook. Coaching is about asking open questions, bringing natural curiosity and helping others find their own solution. With a Coaching Mindset, leaders unlock learning, capacity and resilience within their teams, creating cultures that thrive and grow, and developing future leaders. The Coaching Mindset forever changes the way leaders see the world and how they show up in the workplace. In a shape-shifting, decentralized world in which leaders will be challenged more than ever, the fundamental capabilities of the coaching stance and model will be an essential skill for the future-ready leader.
The world of certainty that we used to know has left us…forever. And in an uncertain world, leaders are going to have to find clarity to make decisions and move forward in the context of pervasive uncertainty. Futurist Bob Johansen declared in 2017 that, “the future will reward clarity, but punish certainty.” Years later, this statement rings especially true and profound. Leaders will have to lean into their existing strengths, grow new strengths, and operate with a higher sense of clarity to navigate the uncertain and tumultuous future.
Being a high-performing leader has always required skills and commitment to communication. In the current context of work, communication has become paramount in leading teams through volatile and uncertain conditions. Leaders must communicate well, communicate often, and demonstrate leadership presence at all times across all mediums. In a distributed world, leaders must be skilled and constantly investing in communication to build trust, engage their teams, provide context to change, and instil confidence. To do that, they need to cultivate presence and be present.
The world has shown us its increasing propensity for the unpredictable. Today, leaders need to recognize that while they have control over their decisions, they can’t always control outcomes. Leaders will inevitably fail when they are too rigid, too declarative, and too set on predetermined outcomes that they narrate inside their own heads. Leaders need to have heightened levels of self-awareness and be willing to change and demonstrate professional pliability like never before.
Leaders need to show up with unmatched levels of empathy and compassion. Understanding where their teams are at, what makes their people tick, and the challenges facing people, are now table stakes to leading in a distributed and disrupted world. The ability to be intuitive, ask powerful questions, and deeply connect with people by seeing things through the eye’s and emotions of others are the emergent and often challenging skills that leaders need to nurture and grow. This is the time to tap into our humanity, vulnerability and humanity as leaders.