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Leadership Expectations - 2014 & Beyond

Release Date

29 January 2014

Employees expect a lot from their leaders, and if they don’t get what they expect, they lose trust and respect for their leader. As today’s workplace continues its transition to an intuitive, wisdom-based environment, the requirements for great leadership are changing. Unfortunately, throughout their careers, many people don’t have enough leaders who identify and enable their full potential. 

Leaders today need to have a high emotional intelligence, which allows them to connect more deeply with their employees. They must develop their listening skills and enable opportunities to grow and be implemented.  Most employees are in search of high-trust relationships; leaders need to be more aware of their own behaviours so they can become more instinctually connected with their employees.

Leadership in 2014 and beyond will be all about people. If leaders begin to lose touch with those they lead, they risk becoming disconnected with the requirements of the business and the marketplace in which they compete. In the process, they begin to lose their leadership momentum and weaken their leadership style and possibly their brand identity.
To be a great leader, you need to understand yourself before you can effectively comprehend, appreciate and leverage the unique skill-sets and competencies of others.

Keep your leaders and yourself in check by aligning the following seven leadership expectations with your organisational leadership frameworks:
1. Identities that Solidify

Many leaders make it difficult for others to follow them because they’re uncertain about how to lead. They lack the originality, consistency and presence to excite their teams. Leaders without an original identity lack self-awareness, self-trust and the required intelligence to connect with their employees in meaningful and purposeful ways.

2. Sense of Urgency

The marketplace is changing so fast that a leader can’t afford to grow complacent. You must have a sense of urgency to ensure your vision stays ahead of marketplace demands. Don’t confuse having a sense of urgency with the need to keep the team busy. A sense of urgency is about leveraging and activating the full potential of employees so objectives, strategies and tactics are constantly moving forward with steadily being executed.

3. Increased Collaboration

Great leaders know their success is highly dependent upon others. To be most effective, they must become less isolated and more integrated and collaborative with their teams and staff members. Leadership success comes to those who are surrounded by people who want their success to continue. If you can’t create a work environment where everyone has each other’s backs, the probability of sustainable success will diminish.

4. Thought Leadership

A thought leader is a person who identifies trends, common themes and patterns within a particular industry or functional area of expertise and in turn helps others identify new opportunities or solutions for growth.
Thought leadership is a necessity in today’s marketplace. All leaders should be forward-thinking and establish their own methodology/ways of thinking so they stand out from the crowd and to enable the success of others along the way.

5. Touch the Business

Leaders, regardless of hierarchy or rank, must touch the business just as much as they lead it.  They need to view their teams and/or functional areas like a small business, constantly looking for creative, resourceful and cost-efficient ways to grow and compete profitably. This requires leaders to be hands-on enough to know how to best manage their time, their budgets and talent requirements. When they do this, leaders are better able to anticipate risk and manage change before circumstances force their hand.

6. Passionate Explorers of New Possibilities

Passionate employees are more likely to outperform those who are not. Leaders need to unleash their own passion for excellence in order to challenge the status quo and seize previously unseen opportunities to build sustainable momentum in the workplace.

7. Executive Presence

Executive presence is not about selling a business transaction or showcasing your knowledge and or capability. It’s about your ability to create a moment, an experience that ignites others to want to know more. It’s about being a good listener and quickly connecting patterns of conversation to determine personal and business needs. Executive presence is not about you; it’s about others. 

Executive presence is mastered over time. It requires self-trust, confidence, self-awareness and the ability to navigate the needs of other people. It is your executive presence that allows you to seamlessly deliver points 1-6.
The most effective leaders contribute to their employees’ career growth, potential and advancement. They lead by example, make those around them better and are great coaches.  To be a great leader, hold yourself accountable for enabling your people to embrace new competencies.  Moreover, help them become successful leaders too, for both themselves and the organisation you serve.

About the Author

Larry Forsyth is a Senior Manager at the Australian Business Solutions Group. He is an experienced CEO and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from CQ University and has completed the Executive Coaching Program at the University of Sydney. Larry is currently providing direction and leadership to the WHS/HR consulting team at Australian Business Solutions Group. Larry is available as a strategic HR consultant and can be contacted atlarry.forsyth@australianbusiness.com.au

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