Preparing For The Next Evolution Of Leadership

Leaders of today need an updated playbook to take teams into the "next normal". This next evolution of leadership must include an ecosystem of engagement to define how to solve complex problems and to dictate what work takes priority during an ongoing pandemic.

1. Focus less on vision and more on cultivating perspective. Vision tends to imply singularity, perspective implies inclusion. Openness bolsters effective leadership by providing leaders with insight into their teams. The insight could be used to help the leader grow, and it serves as an opportunity for them to increase their reach and influence by being helpful.

2. Acknowledge that presence and attention are gifts. There are documented downsides to multitasking. A strategy to reduce the distractions of technology is to allow one minute at the beginning of each meeting to switch gears and reset. In addition, set an expectation that attendees are to close laptops and turn off notifications for the duration of the meeting.

3. Be ready for the ever-flowing constancy of change. The change doesn’t have to be a massive shift in mission or direction. A small change in one part of the company can have a big impact on other parts. When change is planned it is beneficial to talk through the reasoning with your team. When change is unexpected leaders should listen to their teams' feedback and cultivate a growth mindset.

4. Realize that the path to success is not linear. A guiding principle for leaders, courtesy of poet Jane Hirshfield is: “Everything changes. Everything is connected. Pay attention.” The interconnectedness of people is the key to resolving issues and staying resilient. The simple kind act of paying attention can have both a positive and lasting impact on your colleagues and collaborators.