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The workforce has changed forever due to the impacts of technology, the COVID pandemic, and employee preferences. What does this mean for the future of work and how do we prepare our teams for this future? There is a profound shift in our workforce, and we need to be proactive in addressing the expectations and needs of this change.

Our organizational structures and teaming will most certainly change from how things are set up today. Agility within organizations will be key to being competitive. Our workforces will be faster, smarter, and move quicker than ever before. A recent MIT survey found that the number one reason employees are leaving organizations is not for pay but because of a toxic work environment. Employees in this survey noted they are feeling disrespected, dealing with abusive managers, and working in a cutthroat environment where employees are undermining other employees to get ahead. Unfortunately, this explanation is resonating with too many that I am speaking to, so Houston, I think we have an issue here!

In my research that I have conducted around this shift and how leaders need to prepare, I found ways to get our teams to get ahead of the massive changes that are coming. I also received insight from leaders of organizations around the world from various industries to gather additional insights from those in the foreground of these changes.

The initial response I get from those whom I have spoken to about this change is fear of the unknown. What I uncovered are some evolving truths and what we might anticipate. In addition, I uncovered the key skillsets that will be needed in the coming years. I will walk through those attributes in more detail. Our workforces will be smarter, faster, and evolve more quickly than ever before.

Views of leadership and the expectations from your team are changing. These nine attributes represent the new expectation of leaders.

  1. Self-awareness: understanding yourself and your impact on others.
  2. Fairness in dealing with others: meeting others where they are and being fair in that situation.
  3. Steadfastness: leaders who in times of turmoil seem to hold steady and help the team through the challenge.
  4. Understands their contribution to the business: having a direct line of sight on how your team contributes to overall goals.
  5. Willingness to go beyond their job description: jumping in when needed for the team to meet the goal.
  6. Harmonious leader: work well with others.
  7. Empathetic: knowing the team’s needs versus overusing your strengths and weaknesses.
  8. Responsibility: develop others and give them opportunities to grow their skillset.
  9. Confidence: hold fast to your ability to lead a team.

Each of these attributes listed is measured in degrees, they are not true or false but are measured on a scale or continuum. How we handle ourselves as leaders now day after day is how we are measured by our teams. To be effective, I have identified some key behavior’s if done consistently can make a huge impact on your team’s effectiveness.

Successful Steps:

  • Deliver customized/personalized leadership to each team member
  • Practice change leadership-your team is looking for you to guide the direction and set boundaries.
  • Recognize non-verbal cues to your words and actions; adjust as needed.
  • Practice your communication and understand triggers. Words matter!
  • Most of all, be authentic! People like real leaders.

Leadership is a journey. No one trait is better than the others. It is the combination of these attributes and skills put into practice regularly that creates great leaders.

If this article sparked some insight for you and want to learn more, you can download the first chapter of my book which covers this topic in more detail. It can be found at the top of my Publications page on my website:

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