“Great leaders are prepared for the winds of change.” – Reed B. Markham.


Change – is it the new normal?


Embracing change to achieve success is one of the biggest problems that organisations face today. In a transformative world, change is a constant. If organisations do not do things differently than their competitors, they risk losing out on customers and their competitive streak in the industry. More often than not, organisations often fail to manoeuvre through the winds of change, despite the time and resources they pour into change management.


The management of change and development within a business or similar organization is of utmost importance today. In fact, businesses with proper change management plans in place are known to sail through the tides of change with minimal effort. The following data from a Prosci Study on Change Management demonstrates that ROI captured from excellent change management is significantly greater than the organisations that display poor change management.

management effectiveness

Source – Prosci, 2018 Benchmarking Data

Change management, when applied effectively, significantly increases the success rate of the effort. But does having a change management plan in place alone guarantee success? Or are there some other elements that primarily ensure that the plan is put into force and drive success?


“No great leader in history fought to prevent change.” – John Maxwell.


The way that most people deal with change is often incorrect. Think about it – deep down we have always known that change is the only constant in life. Yet we always refuse to acknowledge it, resist it and fight against it. Why do we do it? Because change isn’t easy – especially when we seek stability and predictability. This is precisely why the ones who welcome change are the ones that are often remembered – as great leaders!


Throughout the history of organisational success, there have been leaders who embraced change by breaking down the old ways, by being flexible and restructuring the way they work by adapting to change. The examples that they set have proven that effective leadership is essential to change. In today’s world that is transforming at a fast pace, great leaders acknowledge that the only way to succeed is to embrace change with flexibility, to identify it, understand it and then provide unexplored-before solutions to the challenges that it presents.


Traits of highly successful leaders – what they need to lead in the 2020 workplace.


“The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” – Ken Blanchard.

Today, with emerging technologies impacting the world and transforming workplaces, influence is a trait that leaves a lasting impact than authority does. With economics and markets changing at alarming rates, the old paradigms and rules no longer apply.


With this shift in the old leadership principles, it has become extremely vital to crack the code to the question ‘What traits should a leader have in 2020? How can we build up leaders that lead their organisations towards success and growth? Let us explore 6 essential traits that a leader needs to successfully lead the 2020 workplace;


Trait no. 1 – Mentor people


The 2020 workplace will witness a massive change when it comes to filling in the employee skill gap. Employees can feel overwhelmed by the sudden changes. This is when future-ready leaders can mentor them by identifying where they need help most. Leaders should empower their teams to believe in themselves and make them realise what they can achieve by helping them unlock their potential.


Trait no. 2 – Unite Worlds


During the 2020s, possessing multi-faceted knowledge and a hunger for learning will be one of the most desirable qualities for every leader. With the world being spun into a giant interconnected web due to the presence of emerging technologies like IoT and AI, every single device will be connected and automated. With this connection arises the need to possess knowledge from various fields. Leaders of 2020 must be ‘polymaths’ – people with a wide range of interests and a constant love for learning. His/her vast knowledge base will allow the leader to crack solutions and hunt for opportunities. It promotes out-of-the-box thinking – one of the most useful attributes for a leader of the future.


Trait no. 3 – Act Fearlessly


The 2020s will be an era filled with great uprisings in the industry. This can lead to changes on a small and large scale – that can be either good or bad. This is the time when a leader needs to take these changes in his/her stride by overcoming anxiety. Leaders will need to act fearlessly and inspire their teams to do the same. Taking calculated risks is a crucial quality which will be a pre-requisite trait for a leader in the 2020s.


Trait no. 4 – Identify opportunity amid chaos


As grounded as it sounds, this rare trait can drive teams amid the stage of chaos set by the adoption and proliferation of emerging technologies. The chaos will present various areas that can be explored in order to give rise to opportunity – areas that can be constructed and deployed in several ways. Great growth leaders are focused on higher-level goals despite challenges – which is why they must actively try to evolve, seek breakthroughs and gain advantages.


Trait no. 5 – Clarity of vision


In the 2020’s while it is very easy to get distracted when one functions within a chaotic environment, a great leader is expected to hold clarity of vision. Every team looks up to their leaders for clarity. Having a leader who is clear on the vision can help build trust amongst teams and enable them to grasp the role that they play in realizing that vision. Being able to possess clarity and having the art of communicating the same to the rest of the team is an essential trait.


Trait no. 6 – Building cohesive teams


In an era, that can witness a lot of job hopping, it is vitally important to have leaders that can keep team members motivated towards fulfilling a common purpose. Organisations often define great leaders as those who can keep their teams closer and cohesively bound – a trait that will prove to be of utmost importance in the transformative 20s. Great leaders know that diverse teams help leverage a range of different skills and expertise which is why they build great teams that are diverse when it comes to thought, experience, views, etc.


Can leaders inculcate these traits?


Leadership is a term that encompasses a range of traits and the great news is that just like any other skill, leadership can be inculcated and mastered. At XEd learning solutions, we offer quality executive education through a rich experience of imparting more than 2400 days of custom programmes for more than 4320 senior leaders. With 74+ top global faculty, XEd has developed several senior executives into impactful leaders. Visit XEd Institute of Management to know more

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