The New Rules Of Leadership

Spring is in the air, the days are getting longer and the crocuses are poking up their hopeful heads. Yet, these remain bleak times for too many job seekers, even leaders and managers with impressive resumes. The reason? The demands of a collaboration-based, talent-hungry, global, wired economy are evolving so quickly that success depends on nothing less than continuous learning. Fall behind and you may find yourself disqualified from the race.

A while back, I had the eye-opening experience of reading a report written by the analyst Josh Bersin of Bersin by Deloitte, in which he made his predictions for the coming year. This post is inspired by his research and insights.

One senior innovation advisor at a major energy company told Bersin, “In today’s economy there is no way anybody can be an expert in a substantial part of their total field. The modern ‘renaissance man’ is one who understands how to learn.” This is huge and so important.

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Companies of all sizes in all industries are still trying to meet the new imperative. At that time, learning and Development (L&D) spending was up 12 percent, the largest jump in almost a decade. The goal is to integrate learning into a company’s culture and processes. There are also training sessions, workshops, conferences, and retreats, but the most successful strategies are those that make learning a continuous process, hardwired into a company’s metabolism.

For leaders this is both a daunting challenge and an exciting opportunity to engage and retain top talent. You have to keep your eye on the horizon, your ear to the ground and your nose in the wind. Your company’s needs are ever-changing, and you must stay one step ahead.

How? Start by understanding that change is happening at unprecedented rates, that new technologies can disrupt the best-laid plans, that competition is fierce. These days, laurels aren’t for resting on, they’re for leaping from. Complacency = Extinction.

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