Some Leadership Qualities are Universal
There are aspects of leadership that are universal, and will always define what it means to be a leader. However, shifts in the way businesses are managed, as well as shifts in technology, are making new skills absolutely fundamental to modern leadership.
Into 2022, and beyond, a mixture of legacy leadership techniques and cutting-edge innovations in management will need to be balanced for best results overall. Here we’ll briefly go over a few things you’ll want to think about for the most well-rounded and reliable leadership outcomes going forward.
Especially considering the impact of the pandemic in 2020 and into 2021, there are certain key considerations you must understand as a modern leader.
The Three Q’s: IQ, EQ, and AQ
IQ is Intelligence Quotient, EQ is Emotional Quotient, and AQ is Adversity Quotient. A leader needs to have high intelligence, be emotionally balanced, and be able to handle adversity. To a degree, you can enhance all three. EQ and AQ are more in your control than IQ, but if you’re diligent, you can definitely become smarter. There’s a balance to achieve between all three, and you need to find it as a leader.
This is especially true as you deal with employees that aren’t always on-site anymore, and require you to monitor them collaterally through technology rather than directly and in person.
Whereas the boss who has employees on-site could, by his very presence, prove a motivational force, the remote manager has no such advantage and must be much more clever. There’s higher adversity involved, this leads to more emotional issues, and together these things can be hard to handle for those with low IQ.
Planning in Advance is More Fundamental Than Ever
If you don’t plan in advance, you’re going to have issues that could have been avoided otherwise. With technology, there’s a greater ability overall to flexibly manage operational infrastructure. However, tech issues will manifest unexpectedly, and good leaders are far enough ahead of such eventualities that they don’t represent an operational issue.
Motivating Staff and Being Transparent at the Same Time
Staff needs to be motivated toward success. This is a lot more difficult when you’re dealing with teams that are both on-site, and operating in a remote capacity. The more “faceless” you are, the harder it will be for you to “wrangle” your workforce into alignment.
The phrase “herding cats” comes to mind. Remote and on-site teams need to know they can trust you, and that means being as transparent as possible. If they feel you’re hiding some secret from them, they won’t trust you, and so they won’t be transparent with you.
When an employee is on-site, this is problematic enough. When they’re operating remotely, the issue can be unbearable. Accordingly, you need to find direct and collateral ways to motivate staff. Incentives are helpful. Also, they need to know you’re operating “as advertised” so they can trust you, and that means being as transparent as you’re able to.
Modern Leaders Need a Balanced Mix of Strength and Humility
If all these things sound complicated, they are. Work infrastructure in 2022 will require an effective balance of both strength and humility.
You need to work harder as a leader. But simultaneously, you have the option of remote management as well. If you’re too remote, that isn’t humble — though it can be a show of strength. Is it the right kind of strength, though? You’ve got to think about these things.
Good leaders have always admitted their own mistakes, worked through them and expected employees to do the same. But when you are operating remotely, how can employees see you own up to something you’ve done in error? There are a lot of nuances here that need to be considered.
Remote and On-site Infrastructures Predicate Flexibility and Resilience
You’ve got to be able to maintain productivity even in the face of an area-wide internet outage. When you’ve got remote employees, that’s difficult. There can be days where you’re unable to produce anything. Resiliency is absolutely paramount.
It becomes necessary to sort of “war game” varying scenarios out in advance. Multiple backups are necessary, RMM (Remote Management and Monitoring) software is considerable, and established protocols — which allow you to quickly and conveniently contact staff — are advisable.
Being both flexible and resilient in a work environment that’s split between remote and on-site workers requires establishing infrastructure in the form of protocols immediately. Employees need to know there’s a window where, if you call them, and they haven’t notified you of something like a sick day, they pick up the phone, or respond to the instant message. To be flexible and resilient requires careful advance planning.
Thinking Things Out, Solving Problems, Getting Your Head in the Right Place
Long-term relevance will remain pertaining to these skills. For generations, those managing projects have had to leverage data toward problem-solving in a balanced, flexible, strong manner that invites employees to follow naturally. As remote infrastructure has come to define the working environment, this means Big Data metrics rooted in the cloud become necessary to track the progress of varying projects in real-time, and effectively schedule varying goals.
The big change presently is that demand for skills associated with hands-on and remote leadership is greater than ever. Today’s society has been conditioned not to lead, but to follow. Accordingly, innovation, leadership, analytical thinking, and creativity are skills in hot demand, and fundamental to any leader. Working with tech companies who can provide software that helps is a very good strategy. Consultation is wise. Determining and practicing associated skills also makes sense. Flexibility, resilience, strength, humility, transparency, staff motivation, advance planning, IQ, EQ, and AQ are all more necessary to leaders now than they’ve ever been. Keep these things in mind as you manage teams going forward. The more skilled you are, the more productive employees are, and the more competitive your business is overall.