Top Leadership Trends for 2011

Top Leadership Trends for 2011

What’s in the crystal ball for 2011? And what are the leadership trends that will make a difference to YOU,  irrespective of whether you have direct reports – because, as I’ve mentioned many times already, you need to lead yourself effectively before leading others.The trends below are based on my thoughts AND the constant scouring of reports, blogspace and Google trends research so that you, the subscriber, gets the gist of the great.

So what are the top trends for 2011:

1) Values-based Leadership

More organisations will be pushing for higher transparency, accountability and really making systemic the concept of leadership based on the right values. And, “greed is good” isn’t one of them. Japanese universities are already discouraging graduates from entering the fields of banking – as the sector is still tanking from the very bad-will, not good-will after the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). And there will be more pressure on fulfilling other bottomlines than just the revenue bottomline.

2) Leaders will be pressured to reward more, and more innovatively

Salaries are recovering, but the huge shakeup in job losses and insecurity from the GFC will mean that to retain staff and to maintain staff numbers, leaders need to think about rewarding their people with more. The good news is that it does not have to be with just cash. Studies at Standard Chartered Bank show that giving staff 3 paid days off to do volunteer work increases staff satisfaction, engagement, and (hopefully) reduce turnover. There’s another plus side of that massive blogging of employees subsequent to an enriching school-building exercise in Bangladesh (for example) will lend great social media PR for the employer – a key factor when attracting the Millennials.

3) Engaging the Millennials will be a leadership imperative

Yes, you heard it here, Those born between 1979 and 1996 are now heading into the workforce, or are already beginning to influence people at the junior and middle management levels. Gen Y as they also known, are impatient to succeed, tech-savvy, have high expectations of themselves an their employer, and like being team players. To maximize their efforts, leaders need to rethink how they communicate with them on a daily basis, as well as constantly needing to stimulate and challenge a generation that can’t remember life without the Net.

4) Training and Development for Leaders WIll be a Top Priority

More, training and development will need to be more outcomes focused, and the results more tangible. Return on Objectives may include intangibles that have to be measured with different metrics – like team engagement, improving negotiation skills, and intra and inter team communications. A top priority for joining or not joining an organization will include how you invest in your people

5) Leaders will need to be more innovative….seriously

“Thinking out of the Box” is passe – as a phrase anyway. The Centre of Creative Leadership’s 2007 survey of 247 global executives ( 93% of them being CEOs or senior VPs) showed that the #2 priority was innovation. This can be a problem in risk averse Asia which has tended to follow, copy or ape norms and ideas rather then generate them.  Asian organizations need to start taking smaller and frequent risks in order to leapfrog ahead of the competition. If you aren’t failing fast enough – which is what innovation demands – you aren’t winning fast enough. Peter Drucker recognized the need to innovate a long time ago when he said there are only 2 reasons for a company to exist – 1) market its products, and 2) to innovate

Have a Great February Ahead

David Lim
Chief Motivation Officer