Flip the Switch
I’m often giving keynote speeches about the rapid-fire pace of change. From artificial intelligence to the gig economy, the world of work is changing at a record pace.
The Leadership Mind Switch is a new book by authors Debra Benton and Kylie Wright-Ford that helps leaders position themselves for the future in the midst of these changes. To keep up and succeed, you want to understand how to navigate to drive growth well into the future.
Rethink How We Lead
Why is it important to rethink how we lead?
While it is always important to grow and develop as leaders, we are experiencing an historical era where tech advances married with sweeping demographic changes, plus a shift in the power base from corporations to individuals, have upended the way the future looks for work, workplaces and workers.
The sharing economy, the low marginal cost of becoming an entrepreneur and the preferences of rising generations mean that leadership behaviors of the past will fail in a quest for relevancy in our physically and digitally fused world. Yet leaders are still using biographies of their favorite leaders from the 80s and 90s as their guides for the future.
As a Chief Operating Officer meeting hundreds of the world’s best executives, I was struck by the slow pace of change in the way we interact in the workplace relative to the pace of change in the outside world, the changing complexion of our customer bases in business and the demands of the rising generations. Legacy thinking and iterations on past methods won’t cut it in the new world of work, yet many leaders are “nibbling at the edges” of the changes they need to implement to attract and retain talent and, frankly, to remain relevant. Free food and subsidized health memberships are not enough anymore. Dramatic shifts in the characteristics and behaviors we value are needed to thrive going forward.
The dizzying pace of change often make us believe that everything is upended, but some things have not changed for leaders. What is something that remains unchanged and just as important in terms of leadership?
The ideal of being trusted and trustworthy has not changed over time. It is as important now as it ever was, especially in the eyes of those impacted by less than honest leaders, but what is different now is our ability to get transparency on and take action against leaders that lie, cheat and create subversive cultures.
The optimism of people and yearning for strong leadership, whether real or perceived, can often mask less than trustworthy behavior for a period of time. However, we are entering an era where rising generations are seeking more from their leaders and their organizations. Consumers, workers and competitors have more ability than ever to call out bad behaviors, share good behaviors and make choices.
“The optimism of people and yearning for strong leadership can often mask less than trustworthy behavior.”
I have unwavering belief in our ability as a society to sift through the noise of leaders who are untrustworthy and that we have an opportunity to set a new bar for leaders who create positive cultures, leave enduring legacies and inspire those coming behind and beside them. We just aren’t there yet.
What behaviors do leaders need today that may not have been “musts” in the past?