NextMapping Future of Work Blog

Cheryl Cran

Welcome to the Future of Work blog – this is where you will find posts on all things related to the future of work.

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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The #1 Skill Leaders Need To Thrive in 2019

January 3, 2019

Want to know the #1 skill leaders need to thrive in 2019?

The future of work waits for no one and leaders must be constantly upgrading his or her leadership skills.

A recent PWC report states that leaders must be able to lead in this mobility era.

The mobility era is one of global workers, remote workers and an increase in freelance and contract workers.

There are many dynamics shifting for leaders in the future of work.

Those dynamics include increasing automation, increasing shift in worker loyalty and a shift in how work gets done.

Gone are the days where a leader would learn basic leadership skills, manage a team of ‘stay put’ full time employees.

An average day for a leader in the past was to focus on projects, delegating tasks and monitoring workers activities.

Today leaders spend a good portion of their days answering emails, working on projects and putting out fires.

In the future of work worker dynamics will shift dramatically and it’s starting already.

Changing worker dynamics include leaders leading a varied and diverse type of worker.

In the future, companies will have fewer full time workers that commute to the home office.

Future workplaces will have more workers who will be part time or job share workers along with remote workers.

A new dynamic for leaders is an increase in freelance, contract and outsourced team members who will all be mostly remote workers.

With the new workplace reality here and rapidly changing the #1 skill that leaders need to thrive in 2019 and beyond is:

Change Leadership 

Change leadership is not the same as ‘change management’ – the skills of a change leader include:

  • Enhanced skill of holding multiple perspectives while working with complex situations and challenges
  • The skill to quickly find and link context between different types of workers – full time, part time, remote, freelance etc.
  • Personally connect with workers in a way that inspires and engages extraordinary commitment
  • Drive change throughout the organization by creating ‘change makers’ on teams and throughout the company
  • Build on the successes of the past with an eye to a fast changing future and create impetus for fast execution of innovative ideas
  • The ability to link digital transformation with cultural transformation and focus on ‘people’ as the driver of change

The biggest challenge organizations are struggling with right now is not technological innovation.

The challenge is getting people on board to drive the changes needed to transform the business to be future ready.

Leaders need to go beyond basic leadership skills and commit to ‘change leadership’.  

Change leaders stimulate teams to innovate, bring creative ideas and take the strategic actions required to create the future of work.

In 2019 the leader who can whole heartedly commit to being a next level ‘change leader’ is going to win.