Leadership development and the future

January 3, 2018 by Wally Bock

Leadership development is all about the future. Members of the Forbes Coaches Council defined “16 Essential Leadership Skills For The Workplace Of Tomorrow.” Here’s part of the introduction to their article on the subject.

“These coaches are also finely attuned to workplace trends, and based on today’s changing environment, they know what skills tomorrow’s leaders will need to succeed. Here are 16 leadership skills that will be imperative to the future of work.”

Articles like this one make interesting reading. And, of course, we work to help leaders grow so that they’ll be effective in the future. But, let’s be serious for a moment, the core of leadership development isn’t likely to change much.

Leadership development and change

If you’re thinking about technology, expect lots of change. Technology changes rapidly. The first iPhone hit the market just ten years ago. Tools that help us cooperate across distance continue to develop. So, there’s likely to be some significant changes in the next year.

Social norms and practice change more slowly. Despite thousands of articles and the cries of the pundits, daily work for most people is a lot like it was fifty years ago. Most changes in social norms are generational. It usually takes twenty years or so for a change to make it from novel concept to normal practice. The key forces here are more likely to be the retirement ceremony and a well-placed funeral or two and not the force of a great idea.

Leadership development and people

The reason leadership development won’t change much this year is that human beings haven’t changed much over millennia. The laws of nature and human nature haven’t changed and they’re not likely to before the ball drops on next New Year’s Eve.

Don’t worry about the workplace of tomorrow so much. Concentrate on what human leaders need to learn to do so they can influence the behavior and performance of other humans. Those things haven’t changed much since Marcus Aurelius penned his Meditations.

Wally Bock is a coach, a writer and President of Three Star Leadership.

Posted in Leadership Development

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