There are some days when I think leadership is about character. Then there are some days when I think leadership is all about developing unique skills and exercising adept, creative thinking.
But after having spent time around leaders in 2014 — and appointing myself as leader of a merry band of miscreants in the HR consulting world — I know that leadership goes beyond articles in Fast Company and Forbes.
Here are my thoughts on leadership trends for 2015.
I always tell my clients, “You can’t grow if you don’t know.” You think your company has a unique culture, and you hire executives who match a specific style of leadership; however, if you want to increase revenue and expand your market share, you need leaders who challenge the status quo — even if the status quo is great. Step away from the homogeneous pool of candidates and swim in the heterogeneous sundry of candidates who can change the course of your company’s future forever.
Humble billionaires are so full of shit. You don’t want a CEO who tells you that it takes a village to make his company profitable. You want a CEO who speaks openly and honestly about the business landscape, economic forecasts, and what it takes to attract and retain great talent. CEOs and other business leaders can be competitive and honest without being jerks. You want to be led by someone who wants to win, not someone who is playing a corny PR game.
Empathy. Emotional intelligence. Compassion. Sensitivity to introverts and extroverts. None of this matters if your company isn’t profitable. Sometimes the best leadership style is the style that meets payroll and pays the bills.
There are a million trend reports being published, right now. Leadership is a hot topic. When someone posts an article on what it takes to lead people in 2015, I hope you ask yourself if it passes the sniff test.
The old, musty odors of “leadership trends in 2014” have got to go!