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5 leadership trends that will be important in 2021

5 leadership trends that will be important in 2021

The way we lead organizations and manage people were already facing disruption before COVID-19. However, the events of 2020 rocked the business world to the point where leaders must change if they, their teams, and their businesses, are to survive and flourish. Now with the ushering of a new year, we want the leaders to be ready for 2021 and beyond:

Developing an assertive culture in remote teams

Remote working has been a fundamental disruptor for many managers this year and may linger on. While remote work has caused a whole new set of leadership difficulties, the answer may prevail in getting back to basics. “As leaders, we necessitate to think about how we would communicate in person and learn how that translates via technology,” says Dr. Miriam Moeller. “If you were assembling in a face-to-face meeting and one of your team members was not participating, you would look to their body language for indications that they were disengaged and check in. The same procedure should be taken to virtual communication – especially in a group. If someone is not participating, there’s likely a reason, so it’s necessary to check in with them,” says Miriam.

Embracing a change mindset

First, leaders must recognize when change is taking place and understand the features of it. For instance, while the COVID-19 pandemic has already led to some simple social and economic changes, Frederik believes its full effect has not yet been discovered. “Additional technological, administrative, socio-cultural, macroeconomic, or political developments are likely to follow and these will bring possibilities for organizations who are poised to act.”

It’s important to understand the type of opportunities change is likely to bring. “Will you be able to do something more agile as a result? Will you be able to create something distinct? Or is it about repurposing something you are already doing, like we have witnessed this year for example, with distilleries moving into hand sanitizer?”

Organizations and administrators must recognize how and when they should act on change. “This requires you to assess whether change will allow you to shape your market contribution, your organization, or the processes you involve in. Once you understand this, you will be able to recognize when you actually need to act.”

Wellbeing electiveness

Challenging the traditional outlook that economic outcomes are the sole indicator of success, this program puts wellbeing at the center of leadership to drive execution. “Wellbeing is a global movement that is being identified at the top levels of leadership. New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, recently showed that she recognizes economy and wellbeing are inevitably linked – you simply can’t have one without the other,” states Dr. Lance Newey.

“Wellbeing leadership is a way to business and society that aims to maximize outcomes across eight components: economic; material; physical; psychological; cultural; social; environmental and spiritual.” He says the key to this approach is receiving the balance right – instead of focusing on one or two elements, leaders must find a balance across all eight. 

Abolishing unethical behavior

As we surface from COVID-19, teams may feel more pressure to perform to help businesses resume, leading to an increase in unethical behavior. To alleviate this risk, administrators can proactively look for ethical blind spots and exterminate them.

As per Dr. Michael Collins, many unethical behaviors that may seem prudent are unintentional. “The research shows that in several cases, unethical behavior is the result of people solely failing to recognize the nature of their actions. It’s a decline in judgement that can lead to otherwise good people doing evil things, but this doesn’t make them any less dangerous,” he explains. 

The triple bottom line strategy

 The triple bottom line, access to business that places equal concern on social and environmental associations on financial ones, has been an increasing trend over the prior decade. Recent events from the natural calamities of early 2020 to the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the need for companies to take a more sustainable approach to their operations.

“If we bring the knowledge from COVID-19 and the bushfires back to a sustainability connection, there is a clear need to build flexibility and continuity planning into business-as-usual processes,” says Dr. Belinda Wade. “Leaders have been questioned in terms of supply chain security, employee welfare, unexpected product demand shifts, financial constraints, policy developments, and more.

Leaders who neglect to move to a triple bottom line approach risk moving out of alignment with societal expectations and wasting their social license to operate. Jeopardizing their social license means risking community, employee, and investor backing; all areas very difficult to repair once careless actions destroy them.”

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