Five Leadership Trends in 2009

I’m not one for gazing into the crystal ball too often, but in these unprecedented troubled times, here are my predictions in what will  be the key leadership trends In 2009 which will sink and save jobs:

1) Integrity will Rule:

For the past 8 years, I’ve delivered, as a member of INSEAD’s adjunct faculty, a module for their Ethics programme. This leading business school believes that business ethics can not only be taught but makes a case of why integrity is good for business. In a world of seemingly obscene bonuses given to people who appear to have been partly to blame for the financial excesses, outright fraudsters like Bernie Madoff , and many more dishonest people,  you will be judged more so than ever on your integrity. How do you deliver on this? Simple, start by doing what you said you would do. Leave the ’spin’ aside and come clean on all issues to your people. If you have done wrong, say, ’sorry’ and move on, and make reparations

2) Leaders who Communicate Well will Win:

Linked to (1), in time of tremendous change, cutbacks, bad news et al, there is nothing better than being able to communicate the bad and good news effectively to your people or team. Give cogent reasons for every decision you make that will impact your people – and seek their understanding and feedback. Reduce corporate babblespeak and return to good ‘ol basics of communication. And remember. It aint about what is said, but what is received. You are more responsible for the quality of your communication than anyone else.

3) Self-Leadership First:

For the first time since the late 80s, massive numbers of smart, white-collar workers and professionals are being made unemployed. Many will be rethinking their needs, lifestyles and aspirations. More so than at any time in the past decade, the power of business and social networking, leveraged by technology, will allow a large number of these newly unemployed to consider starting a business of their own. Those who can motivate themselves, create compelling goals, aligned with their higher purpose, beliefs and family will seek to improve their self-leadership skills in setting up a new life

4) Those Who Lead Change will Change Leaders:

As organisations become flatter and leaner as a result of restructuring and re-organisation, change will be led from organisational leaders, as well as those best empowered to do so. Those who lead change are those who can seek opportunities in these hard times, persuade themselves and their people to to adopt an Alpinist Attitude  (doing more with less) – going light, being nimble and seeking virgin routes on ‘mountains’  that are rarely climbed. And these people will not only seek changes at their peer level, but will also trickle up change to their own leaders. Leadership will cease to be a monopoly exercised solely by the anointed in truly enlightened organisations

5) The Best Leaders will Re-tool and Renew:

Just as organisations that step up training in areas that matter most in downtimes, leader who upskill during these times instead of firefighting to achieve short-term/short-sighted goals, are best in the position to lead and innovate in their teams. Key issues include picking the right programme, as well as linking otherwise sterile leadership learning with their unique, professional challenges