Articles

ARTICLES

ArticlesLeadership, competitiveness and best practices on business management

Management Tips

MANAGEMENT TIPS

Management TipsPractical tools to enhance management and leadership skills

Education Resources

EDUCATION RESOURCES

Education ResourcesNews, corporate training and business education resources

By The Numbers

Workplace Survey, Findings

1.Workers are struggling to work effectively. 

When focus is compromised in pursuit of Collaboration, neither works well.

2. Effective workplaces balance focus and collaboration. 

Workplaces designed to enable collaboration without sacrificing employees’ ability to focus are more successful.

3. Choice drives performance and innovation. 

Employers who provide a spectrum of choices for when and where to work are seen as more innovative and have higher-performing employees.

 

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WHAT MAKES A GREAT LEADER IN THE 21ST CENTURY?


According to a study of 4,000 companies, developed by The Boston Consulting Group, fifty-eight percent of the companies cited significant talent gaps for critical leadership roles. That means that despite corporate training programs, off-sites, assessments, coaching, these things, more than half the companies had failed to grow enough great leaders.


In a 21st-century world, which is more global, digitally enabled and transparent, with faster speeds of information flow and innovation, and where nothing big gets done without some kind of a complex matrix, relying on traditional development practices will stunt your growth as a leader. In fact, traditional assessments like narrow 360 degree surveys or outdated performance criteria will give you false positives, lulling you into thinking that you are more prepared than you really are.

Roselinde Torres, a senior consultant at The Boston Consulting Group, suggests that leadership in the 21st century is defined and evidenced by three fundamental questions:

 

1. Where are you looking to anticipate the next change to your business model or your life?
The answer to this question is on your calendar. Who are you spending time with? On what topics? Where are you traveling? What are you reading? And then how are you distilling this into understanding potential discontinuities, and then making a decision to do something right now so that you're prepared and ready? There's a leadership team that does a practice where they bring together each member collecting, here are trends that impact me, here are trends that impact another team member, and they share these, and then make decisions, to course-correct a strategy or to anticipate a new move. Great leaders are not head-down. They see around corners, shaping their future, not just reacting to it.


2. What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network?
You know, we hear often about good old boy networks and they're certainly alive and well in many institutions. But to some extent, we all have a network of people that we're comfortable with. So this question is about your capacity to develop relationships with people that are very different than you. And those differences can be biological, physical, functional, political, cultural, socioeconomic. And yet, despite all these differences, they connect with you and they trust you enough to cooperate with you in achieving a shared goal. Great leaders understand that having a more diverse network is a source of pattern identification at greater levels and also of solutions, because you have people that are thinking differently than you are.


3. Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past?
There's an expression: Go along to get along. But if you follow this advice, chances are as a leader, you're going to keep doing what's familiar and comfortable. Great leaders dare to be different. They don't just talk about risk-taking, they actually do it. And one of the leaders shared with me the fact that the most impactful development comes when you are able to build the emotional stamina to withstand people telling you that your new idea is naïve or reckless or just plain stupid. Now interestingly, the people who will join you are not your usual suspects in your network. They're often people that think differently and therefore are willing to join you in taking a courageous leap. And it's a leap, not a step. More than traditional leadership programs, answering these three questions will determine your effectiveness as a 21st-century leader.