Over the last two posts, we’ve looked at future-proofing; what it is, how it affects people, and how you can protect yourself and your career in the long term.
Today we’re going to take a closer look at the leadership role and share 3 tips to help you be the best leader you can be now and make the role of ‘leader’ indispensable for the future.
Nothing is static.
Things have been changing since your organisation began and chances are things will keep changing long after you’ve moved on. We all get that; however, it seems that change is coming more quickly than ever and in more complex ways.
In the old days, leaders would put on a brave face and pretend they knew what was happening, so they didn’t worry their teams. Today, people are different – perhaps more sophisticated or educated. They have a pretty good idea of what’s happening. Workplaces are different, too. No longer are they places you stay for your entire career. If you don’t like what’s happening, you move on.
With that transformation in culture and expectation, the most important thing a leader can do is to be real. Be open and transparent. Let your team know what you know and how you feel. They need to be sure of your authenticity and trust in your honesty. Be human. Communicate. Interact. Be a true team, not a boss with subordinates. That’s what expected of leaders now and into the future.
It’s simple. You can’t be future-proof if you’ve lost your relevance.
It’s often said today’s teams are being overmanaged and under-led. The future-proof leader is the one who’s focusing on strategy, not just execution. You can’t see the big picture when you’re micro-managing and that’s what makes you gradually lose your relevance as a leader and as a team.
To stay continually relevant, you need to be aware of what’s happening in the marketplace and in society. Leaders who can spot opportunities for the organisation to grow, adapt or secure their market sector are the leaders who will hold their positions in the future.
Of course, you know what happens when an opportunity presents itself. There’s an exciting burst of energy throughout the whole organisation as it moves to take the advantage. That’s a powerful way to create and lead an engaged team.
It’s all about who you know, as the saying goes.
In saying this, connections are going to become more and more important. Whether it’s being able to quickly tap into essential information, find responsive assistance or locate someone with the skills your team lacks, it will all come down to a connection. Networks are becoming increasingly important.
As for skill development, organised training courses may not be the answer any more. There’s a lot of task-related education available online, but real growth springs from self-knowledge. Proactive leaders turn to their networks to find coaches and mentors who can provide the help they need. It’s timely, personalised and honest.
With workplaces becoming a more ‘human’ environment, leaders need to connect and build solid relationships with their teams. Leaders who do that are the leaders who inspire loyalty, support and high-engagement.
Follow these three tips and you’ll be a leader, not a manager. That’s where the future-proofing lies.