Five Characteristics That Define 21st-Century Leadership

It’s no secret, industries are changing, new technology is being introduced, and the economy is shifting. This means that the life span of your company depends on its fearless leaders to navigate the unstable ground and lead the company and its employees into the future. 

Deloitte recently published a study on what is required for Leadership in the 21st Century, and their findings gave us some great insights into what organizations and executives can expect over the next few years. 

They made note on how crucial it is for organizations to “develop leaders who have the skills to manage operations, supervise teams, make decisions, prioritize investments, and manage the bottom line while dealing with a rapidly evolving, technology-driven business environment.” 

With every industry adapting to this disruptive digital landscape, we need leaders now more than ever who can work collaboratively and maneuverer us through this uncertain technological, social, and economic shift happening on a local, national, and international level. 

In their survey, Deloitte points out that because of these shifts and upcoming changes, financial results cannot be the primary measure of your business success, rather “the impact you have on the social and physical environment, as well as on their customers and the people who work for and with them.”

Leaders must have these outcomes in mind as they lead and guide their team in a way that challenges the marketplace, builds trust between their employees and customers, and adapts when the future is uncertain. 

So, how does one go about accomplishing this? It’s no easy task, but here are five characteristics that define 21st-century leadership, as found in Deloitte’s 2019 Global Survey.  

Ability To Lead Through More Complexity And Ambiguity

The future is unknown, and things are changing rapidly, forcing companies to become more innovative. Leaders must be educated on the latest technologies, know the landscape of their specific industry, and have the ability to take charge as you drive your organization into the 21-century. 

Ability To Lead Through Influence 

Leading by example is crucial. Be transparent to your customers and your employees and accomplish successes by collaborating with your internal colleagues. This will develop respect amongst the organization for your leadership style while garnering a high level of trust with you and your team. 

Ability to Manage on a Remote Basis 

With all of the updates to technology, many jobs are no longer full-time salaried positions, and they can be done remotely, anywhere in the world. Contractors seem to be the way of the future, and as long as they have a laptop and Wi-Fi, they can likely get the job done for you. 

However, you must figure out a way to manage all of these people on their schedules and in their respective time zones. Hiring contractors in various locations is far more efficient for many roles, and it’s the model that most companies are currently moving towards. Organizing all of these people can be daunting, but it can be a huge asset in the future. 

Ability To Manage A Workforce With A Combination Of Humans And Machines 

It’s only a matter of time before humans and technology merge and work together to get the job done. Being adaptable and staying up-to-date on the latest technology is key when it comes to leading an organization into a time of continuous innovation and uncertainty. It’s crucial to hire employees who are diverse, keen to learn, and interested in a long term role within the organization, where they can move and shift around as things change and adapt over the years. 

Ability To Lead More Quickly

Things are changing quickly, and a good leader will be able to keep up. Customer and employee expectations are changing, and executives need to know how to adapt and make informed decisions on the fly. 

If your organization wants to be prepared for the 21st- century, you must look at the environment in which your leaders are being produced. Providing them with the tools that will empower, educate, and train them is a proactive move that will set your organization apart in the revolution that is coming.

According to Deloitte’s Global Survey, “only 25 percent of their respondents said they are effectively building digital leaders, and only 30 percent say they are effectively developing leaders to meet evolving challenges.” 

In our minds, these numbers are not nearly high enough. 

If you are an executive or emerging leader, sign up for our Executive Coaching. Here, you will be empowered to leverage your strengths, hone your skills, and optimize your leadership performance, as you learn how to make decisive, informed, and confident decisions that will deliver results going into the 21st-century. 

Sign up for your free consultation here

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