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Leadership Lesson: Here are the top 10 trends in emerging leadership

Someday is already here. The trends in new leadership are an evolution of what we have learned along the way.

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In particular, the evolution of technology — 5G communications, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, remote leadership and management, quantum computers, the advent of a brand new internet, and more will accelerate the realization of the trends, below.

Purpose before profits — Apple’s purpose drove amazing growth. Steve Jobs, the co-founder at age 22 stated, “What we’re trying to do is remove the barrier of having to learn to use a computer.” Thus, Apple’s simplicity, connectivity, and intuitiveness drove their profitable success. Strategic planning now begins with purpose, not vision and mission.

Managers transition to leaders — Boeing provides several mentoring programs, including one that identifies and cultivates new leaders. We are just learning the similarities and differences between managers and leaders — and we need more leaders.

Processes form a foundation of the organization — Toyota will show you how it produces its products, but it will not divulge its processes. A process is sacred, and heavily documented, taught and measured. It is the root of satisfying customers and employees.

Envisioning accelerates vision — Disney’s founder, Walt Disney, envisioned Disney World long before it was built (after his death). A company vision can be realized more efficiently when leaders and their teams see it unfolding into success in their mind’s eye.

Embracing paradox — Lego has moved beyond an “either/or” paradox between free-form innovation and tightly-defined execution by embracing a “both/and” integral thinking approach. Lego does both innovation and execution very well.

Technology supports leadership — Walmart innovates in-store logistics for its corporate leadership and customers. Walmart knows where everything is in stores and distribution centers. This is how they began as a company – creating its first IT-based logistics systems before large growth began.

Entrepreneurship moves into large organizations — 3M has an internal incubator for new business startups. That is where Post-it Notes came from. This is why most patents come from companies, not outside entrepreneurs.

Work and learn programs expand — UPS partners with colleges to provide paid education opportunities for employees who are working at the company. Remote learning will accelerate this trend. Internships will expand.

Soft skills become balanced with job skills — Amazon has a new college grad, an IT engineer, who learned seven crucial soft skills on the job in her first year: confidence, human communications and listening, humility, curiosity and learning, seeing a larger picture, involvement in organizational groups, and documenting her own progress. Success now becomes a blend of soft and hard skills.

Organizations become community partners — Target has been giving 5% of its profits to community good for decades. Education and health care are but two recipients. Both Target and recipients describe a win-win story.

The projected trends from years ago are already underway: more women in leadership roles, AI, remote video meetings, flatter organizational structures and more. Now, it is time to identify new trends and to embrace them.

The bottom line

As new trends are forming, consider how as leaders we will adopt them. Someday is here, now. Do not be late — the velocity of business is accelerating. Always.

Source: The Business Journals

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