Five leadership questions for the next generation
To appreciate how to "lead tomorrow" the next generation must reflect on past leadership lessons for
I’m beginning to wonder — what lessons will our generation leave behind, lessons that the next generation can benefit from, or even consider.
With that in mind, consider these five questions.
№1 — How to prioritize your emotional function?
Leaders have to manage their own work, their own lives, and all the challenges they bring.
At times of high stress, business leaders are in the spotlight. They’re expected to perform their role under a cloud of uncertainty brought on by a crisis.
Leaders must manage their own work-life challenges while staying in tune with the needs of their people in a rapidly changing world.
Mental health issues that front line workers are experiencing is on the rise. So on top of the mounting responsibilities that leaders face they must also recognize when an employee(s) needs help.
People cannot lead effectively if they’re struggling.
Leaders have to take care of their own needs. They must put their own oxygen mask on first. In doing so they demonstrate self-care to their employees.
How do you prioritize your emotional function?
№2 — How to thrive in a crisis?
Having the agility to adapt, to react to changes, is a key leadership quality. However, the world is very different now.
From a leadership perspective, there’s an emphasis on change and how you invest your time in a crisis. The people you’re leading, engage with and motivate look for certain things from a leader at different times.
Leadership today requires a crisis mindset.
A focus on communication and relationship management is crucial. The strength of any relationship is key; if the basics are robust, followers will stand by you, repaying leaders' loyalty down the line.
Great leaders connect with employees to better understand them as human beings.
The question is, how well can we thrive in a crisis? Or rather, how well can we lead out of a crisis to ensure that we don't repeat the same mistakes.
№3 — How about radical innovation?
Radical innovation is risky, but as we emerge from a global pandemic are we willing to take risks?
Do we even have a choice?
An array of leadership styles will be needed to adjust to a rapidly changing business environment in the future.
Radical innovation has the potential to redefine everything. To realize its potential the process must be well managed to overcome the human instinct to resist change.
Transformation is uncomfortable for both the organization and its people.
Innovative leaders set out clear decision-making frameworks to work through complex problems more effectively.
Are you equipped? Is the world equipped?
№4 — Conflict: Are you ready for defining moments?
Defining moments will be commonplace. Leaders will find themselves in conflict more often than not as lockdown restrictions are lifted?
Leaders and managers can respond when conflict arises, some examples are:
- On impulse, following their gut feeling
- They trust their own character and discipline
- They talk it over with others
In our decisions, we reveal our character. What’s important is that our responses are reinforced by our environment over time, moulding our being.
This is the root of “defining moments”, forcing us to strike a balance between our heart, our values and beliefs.
Character is forged at those defining moments when a manager must choose between right and right.(Badaracco, 1998)
Defining moments are not merely intellectual challenges, rather, they’re opportunities for inspired action and personal growth.
How leaders anchor themselves to manage conflict is reflected in how they stand courageously when defining moments present.
№5 — Do you really know your followers?
Will your followers stand by you? If so, why would they? Can you or I honestly answer this question?
Followers want leaders who demonstrate that he/she cares about them, as people.
Trust is the foundation of any relationship.
The leader-follower relationship is no different. Without a sense of trust, there can be no team. Research has proven that when trust is high in a group or organization, members are more engaged.
Followers have a very clear picture of what they want, need and expect from a leader. Here are the top four basic needs:
- Stability, and
Here’s the thing. These four words, with respect to leadership competencies, do not figure in the top four.
If you're in a leadership role, look around you, who’s following you?
On that note, I’d very much welcome your feedback, from the thought leaders out there — are we equipped?
Let’s take a moment to recap:
- How do you prioritize your emotional function?
- How do you thrive in a crisis?
- How about radical innovation?
- Are you equipped for defining moments in conflict?
- Do you know your followers?
Should we be confident that we have the answers to these questions? I invite you to share your thoughts on at least one question.
What do you think?