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7 Leadership Trends for 2019

Questions on how to better manage human capital have topped leadership conversations around the world for a very long time. In an increasingly crazy world, the one word you should keep in mind as you start your planning for next year is simplicity. Here are seven emerging leadership trends for 2019.

1) Keep it simple

Over the past three years, the importance to move away from complex structures and simplify organizations has become clear. Not only it will help companies to be better equipped to face the challenges of the fast-paced markets, but it will also help employees to focus more on practical and rewarding tasks. For more insight on this topic, a great resource is the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report.

2) Redesign your management style

Paying extra attention to your performance management process is what will make your organization stand out in the next couple of years. It’s crucial to establish communication in which leaders outline what they expect from their employers regarding goals and ways to measure their completion to achieve this success. Indeed, a goal-oriented strategy gives employees clarity and a higher motivation to achieve their goals.

3) Invest in ‘human capital’

The “Overwhelmed Employee” syndrome has been an enormous issue in companies stuck in an old generation, mid-level type management for years. In addition, the arrival of young workers thirsty for meaningful projects is a factor to take into account. Corporations need to invest more time in creating space for their employees to allow honest feedback from them (anonymous surveys are an option). It will also help staff to achieve success and help retain a workforce that  will feel supported and needed.

4) Do less, lead more

HR and managers have increasingly become process designers. Leadership and management problems are simple by nature and what we as leaders need to do is use trial and error methods in our managing style. We do this by letting our employees make more decisions and accepting that they might not get it right the first time. Our ability to do less and lead more will make us better leaders.

5) Forget about 9 to 5

The full-time employment model no longer makes sense. Research and studies have shown that long working hours make you less productive. Leaders, at any level, needs to revise their employment model to put individual performance at the core of their development – regardless of where it physically takes place or at what time.

Working on the go, at home or allowing flexible hours outside the traditional 9 to 5 office environment can work wonders with staff productivity. Acknowledging that employees have a personal life, and building work around it, can generate huge loyalty and more effective results if planned properly. This approach is an excellent way to respond to the needs of “purpose” and “meaning” that many young employees are seeking today.

6) Make technology work for you

Technology plays a massive part in our professional and personal lives, and that’s okay. What’s not ok is that we’ve gone head-over-heels in our relationships with our devices and tend to rely on them too much. It’s crucial that managers step up and learn how technology can re-enforce their technical expertise and leadership, but not at the expense of human capital. Some of these comprehensive leadership programs from Harvard Business School are great ways to learn how to control optimization and process flow, and a reminder that your smartphone can only do so much for you.

7) Just do it

Rethink your company hierarchy. Human capital learns best by doing what they inherently know, and not always by regurgitating what they learned at business school. The principle is simple: Encourage a single employee, to act like an atom – the smallest particle of an element, making them aware that they also contain the same properties of the larger molecule (leadership).

The reference to Nike in the subtitle might make you smile, but it summarizes things well: people learn by doing. Managers become great leaders by their ability to make the right call when faced with adversity and people become great employees (and ultimately great leaders) by their capacity to deliver exceptional results on a regular basis. Each person in a company is like an atom: their contribution helps to create a molecule, which in this example equals the company’s culture and success.

Real Leaders is the Preferred Partner Publication of YPO and inspires better leaders for a better world. It’s the world’s first sustainable business and leadership magazine. The company was established as a B-Corporation and subscribes to a vision of social and environmental responsibility while also promoting gender balance in the workplace. Real Leaders is a global event sponsor, online content provider and publisher that delivers education and idea exchange to YPO and beyond. Real Leaders has interviewed business leaders across the globe who are making a positive difference in the world, including: Richard Branson, Forest Whitaker, Sharon Stone, Sara Blakely, FW de Klerk, Desmond Tutu, Muhammad Yunus, Sheryl Sandberg, Laura Turner Seydel, Shirin Ebadi and Shari Arison. The company has a presence at events of global significance, such as The World Economic Forum in Davos, the Clinton Global Initiative and the World Summit Of Nobel Peace Laureates, for which it produces a special peace edition of Real Leaders magazine.