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7 Leadership trends to expect in 2018

Leadership evolved so much over time and in such a way that it underwent a total paradigm shift.  From being the person with the most brute strength or the person striking the most fear into people’s hearts in mid-evil times, to that of the new age leader; a person who is the kindest and most empathetic one investing more into others. A leader today is someone who is creating followers through mutual respect and teamwork rather than with force and fear. 

But how much is the right leadership and great managers contributing to the business and its actual growth?  With the world rapidly changing around us, great leaders should stay on top of new trends and developments in order to sustain growth and profitability in their organisations.

Being a dynamic leader involves much more than just telling people what to do. Leaders are the makers and breakers of a business being successful or not. Here are a few trends and predictions for 2018:

  1. Leaders becoming hands-on. Gone are the days where the leaders in the business sit in huge offices and are only reachable through their secretaries. Company leaders are being expected to become even more hands-on and involved in developing and growing both the business and its brands every year. Even more so during 2018. Leaders are being expected to be on the floor, getting their hands dirty and motivating staff, mentoring as well as professionally upskilling and developing themselves and their employees.
  2. Group dynamics focus. With a previous stigma of the corporate world being formal and uptight, with little or no human compassion or a sense of work-fun, there will be a huge focus on creating a workplace where bonding and employee relations are key. Because you are spending almost 80% of your waking day at work, you need to get along with the people you work with.  Building relationships between junior and senior staff members will be a strong focus area. This means that a lot of team building and relationship building needs to take place by means of educating employees about generation gaps etc.
  3. Developing and keeping employees. It is a highly competitive work environment out there, and more and more corporates are now creating new ways of attracting and keeping creative, innovative, self-motivated and dynamic talent. More than ever, leaders are being expected to keep employees creative, so that they come up with new ideas before the competitors. This means that employees will need continuous upskilling.
  4. Around the globe we go. Company leaders will be embracing globalization as it becomes an even bigger reality during 2018 with the prediction that more and more corporates will be exploring overseas markets, becoming involved in employee exchanges and temporary relocating employees establishing an even bigger global market. 
  5. Waking up to digital transformation. Leaders who are still not using digital tools and don’t know what it can do for business, must urgently get on the digital train. Exploring new technologies will help with adapting to the fast pace of changes happening in the business world.
  6. Upskilling or being left behind, you choose. While still on the technology topic, leaders must realize that machines are taking over some of the work efforts, especially in engineering, production, technology, science, math etc. If leaders don’t add new valuable skills to their CVs, the workplace and moving up the corporate ladder or changing jobs with different company will get more challenging.
  7. Being a worthy competitor. Competitors get more competitive and every company leader wants their company to be an industry leader and a forward thinker. During 2018 traditional sales techniques won’t be enough to catch the attention of the customer. Business leaders are being expected to think creatively out-of-the-box so that their brands will become groundbreaking and original. Leaders will have to create customer experiences and adventures and motivate their sales teams to do the same.

Business leaders should be focused on ensuring that necessary changes need to happen at the right pace during 2018 within the organization to gain market share and stay top of mind. So whether you are finding yourself in sales, admin, technology or whichever department, leading by keeping the above trends and predictions in mind will prepare you for a mind-blowing 2018. Good luck and make this year count!