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Cheryl Cran

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We have guest bloggers that include CIO’s, Behavioral Scientists, CEO’s, Data Scientists including posts by our founder Cheryl Cran.

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3 Ways to Lead with 2020 Vision

January 19, 2012

Many of us are focused on getting through the day, the month or the year and thinking about 2020 seems so far away. Well we all know that we are now living and working in a constantly evolving world and workplace and the best laid plans for 2020 may never come to fruition. However being a highly evolved leader today means living and working in the present with an eye to the future so that we can lead our teams with vision and inspiration.

We will continue to experience major technological advances, and we will continue to feel the effects of the changing workforce and the emerging attitudes that are shaping the way businesses operate and how leaders lead.

So what can we do today to lead with an eye to the future to the year 2020?

Here are 3 ways you can lead with 2020 vision:

1. Technology- It is imperative that as leaders we are on the near cutting edge of technology as a strategy. We need to constantly be evaluating how we can improve results for our teams through the right technological tools. There are technological solutions for many productivity issues and increasing our use of technology to solve everyday work challenges addresses the concerns over lack of talent and a shrinking workforce. A great example is a private consulting client of mine who realized that by simply implementing Facebook IM in their office they increased team communication and improved customer service. I am still approached by traditional organizations and their leaders who say they are banning Facebook (I don’t believe this is the best strategy and yes I understand the privacy concerns- remember when email first came to the workplace?) progressive companies are allowing laptops in the break room for employee access to social media. An innovative hospital in Ontario allows PDA’s to be used for patient care and have found their Gen X and Gen Y employees providing improved care.

2. Work On You- The evolving workplace requires leaders who look to themselves first when things need to be changed. An evolved leader recognizes that their team is a direct reflection of their leadership and so they work on improving themselves in a variety of ways. One of my CEO clients has taken up regular yoga practice to stay calm and centered and he reports that he is less aggressive with his team and he ‘seeks to understand’ before going straight to blame or attacking the person and not the problem. When something goes sideways with our teams it is likely that something is a little ‘off’ within our selves. We are out of alignment and we may not approach situations with a positive solution focus. I regularly work with a coach who supports me with issues when I am feeling frustrated or at a loss for a solution.

Working on you also means committing to self-care and balance- if you don’t lead balance in your own life it actually demotivates your team. Research has proven that leaders who have balance by having a life, working hard and committed to health their teams are highly motivated and tend to ‘model’ the behavior of their leader.

3. Focus on Appreciation of People- Believe it or not when we focus on what people are doing right and when we truly appreciate people for being people we are investing in the future by banking goodwill. The most effective leaders I have encountered are those that are highly vested in the success of their people. Recently I had a conference call with a potential client and the Senior Vice President completely embodied the ability to appreciate people. She regularly holds internal training for her team on ‘how to become an executive” as well as providing learning tools and then group conference calls to discuss learning concepts and a question and answer session. She shows her appreciation by sending recognition for a job well done by email, posting kudos to the intranet and skyping her out of town reports to say thank you for a job well done. This leader is banking major future goodwill and this is going to become even more important as the competition for talent heats up in the next few years.

So you see although you may not be thinking about 2020 the leadership practices I have shared are investments today with an eye to the future. I promise you that if you focused on these three things your results will continue to improve AND you will be well prepared for our 2020 future.