The leadership context is one of a world where turbulence is the “norm”; one in which uncertainty, rapid change and connectivity are the daily currency with which leaders will have to deal. It is certainly not a context for the faint-hearted. Wishful leaders are looking for lengthy periods of uninterrupted growth; economic, social and political stability, and a surplus of resources to take advantage of new markets and opportunities on offer. However, this will not be the case other than perhaps in isolated pockets and for short periods of time.
Good leaders know that as they lead their people into the future they will need specific mindsets and skill sets if they are to successfully face and engage the future and not merely adopt a survival mentality. Here, then, are three things that we suggest good leaders should look for.
1. The ability to unlearn
The broader application of this is an ability to challenge guarded assumptions, entrenched viewpoints and the “way things have always been done around here” mentality. The willingness and ability to do this are the keys to being able to adapt and change in ways that are needed, appropriate and future relevant.
The ability to unlearn prefaces an ability to learn, and unless you have a learning organisation we are not optimistic about your chances of surviving the future, let alone thriving in the future. So much about the context in which you are leading your business is changing, and with that change the rules of the game are being transformed. A failure to understand this and fully grasp the internal and external implications can prove to be a lethal hammer blow to your business future.