Changing Perceptions: How Will Leadership Evolve in 2017
Our perception of leadership changes as our leaders change. Following the 2016 election cycle, six YEC members reflect on how our collective perception of leadership could change in the new year. How will leadership evolve? And what can business leaders do to influence change? Take a look below for some of their reactions and insights going forward.
1. Create an Open Safe Space
It was a shock to many that Donald Trump was elected. Many people who voted for him did it quietly because they would have been blasted for stating their opinions. As a leader, it’s important to create a safe place where everyone can state their opinions and not feel judged, shamed or labeled. Create an environment where people can have safe conversations and do not feel they have to hide their true feelings.
2. Set an Example with Your Words and Actions
This election cycle has been fraught with hate rhetoric and insults. We have a new leader who promises to make America great again. He occasionally used discriminatory language to refer to certain ethnic and religious groups and to the opposite sex. As a CEO, I’m reminded that my words and actions matter, and all leaders need to set an example of openness to all people and ideas.
3. Keep the Pulse on Your Employees and Customers
Between Brexit, the Peace Vote in Colombia and the U.S. presidential election, it seems apparent that there is a huge disconnect between what the “people” want and what “leadership” thinks they want. As entrepreneurs and business owners, we can learn from this that we need to keep the pulse of our employees and customers. Ask yourself, what do they really want compared to what I think they want?
4. Leaders Should Be Put to the Test
It is unrealistic and inefficient for leaders not to be questioned, tested and pushed to the limits. The election cycle certainly demonstrated how far a leader might be ridiculed, but the true test will be in office. Leadership is about stepping up to the plate, and doing more than anyone else is willing to do. Leadership is a position that should be put to the test.
5. Leadership Is Still About Goals, Communication, Reliability and Accountability
Leadership will always be about those who can set goals and communicate effectively. Our collective perception will not change in 2017. Leadership also comes down to reliability and accountability, which means we need to have trust in our leaders. The jury will definitely be out on that considering how our country is currently split.
6. Bring Unity, Not Division
The recent election taught me how important unity is. Unfortunately, our country is more divided. As leaders, we must set the stage to bring our team together for the better good. An old war strategy is to divide and conquer, but that simply does not hold true in the business world. In fact, it is the opposite.