What can we say about the last two years? They’ve been tough on everyone, including leaders. They face more pressure, responsibility and unpredictable markets during a pandemic. Now of course, they’re also navigating the great resignation. Despite all this, there are encouraging developments around leadership. Here are five promising trends I see.
A move away from alpha style leadership
Why it matters: For many years we’ve looked at leadership through too narrow a lens. Narrow definitions of what leaders looks like shuts out those who don’t fit the mold. There are so many ways to reach an outcome. Leaders looks all sorts of way. Having diverse leadership styles on the team means we can leverage them for more benefit. The move away from a strong, tough style humanizes leaders which is good for everyone.
Signs: Instead only focusing on results, leaders consider what the team’s experience is like when interacting with them. Leaders are becoming more comfortable with embracing their natural style, even when it doesn’t fit the stereotypical mold. They know adopting a fake persona gets in the way of trust.They’re investing in therapy and coaching to help them find the best expression of themselves so they can be their best for others.
More leaders talking about mental health
Why it matters: It’s good to see that leaders are human. It’s great that they’re getting support. Talking about it helps remove the stigma, making it easier for others to acknowledge and address their issues. Bringing mental health concerns into the open can reduce burnout.
Signs: Most leaders I know have a therapist or have had one. Leaders are talking about mental health more often too. A good example is this conversation with Alex Lieberman, founder, former CEO and now Executive Chairman of Morning Brew. Others like Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and Twitter founder Justin Kan are opening up too. Leaders talk to me about it too. They’re not only talking about their own but also the team’s well-being. Accompanying this trend is more investment in mental health services.