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Leadership Fundamentals You
Cannot Ignore in 2020

By Slava Vaniukov

The same essential characteristics and qualities that exemplify a great leader seldom change, regardless of which historical period you choose to examine. What has changed are the research, tools, and societal shifts that impact what is being achieved by various business entities and those who lead them.


Leadership skills can be considered art forms. In business, their aims are to move a company towards the achievement of a common goal. If you think about Amazon leadership principles, for instance, you’ll see that Jeff Bezos exemplifies much of what we are going to mention in this article.

A little while ago, the World Economic Forum, or WEF, produced a Future of Work Skills for 2020 report. It identified ten leadership qualities that were most vital to possess in the modern era. Those included emotional intelligence, critical thinking ability, cognitive flexibility, people management skills, creativity, service orientation, analytical thinking and decision making, and negotiation.

Korn Ferry, in their leadership research, introduced the concept of a “self-disruptive” leader. This individual would follow an ADAPT framework of leadership skills. They would consist of acceleration, drive, anticipation, partnership, and trust.

Both of these leadership models have quite a bit in common with one another.

What Truly Matters for Leadership in 2020?

Self-Management is Critical

To lead successfully, the first step is always to develop a greater understanding of yourself. With this should come to a greater authenticity in assessing your shortcomings and strengths.

Self-awareness for self-regulation is essential to ensure that you manage better. It will also allow you to adapt more fluidly and develop resilience. All recent leadership theories include some version of this ideal.

Communication is Paramount

Communication is central to each human relationship, and every business relationship in particular. Whether we’re talking about interactions with customers, colleagues, or suppliers, clear communication builds trust. It also improves productivity and ensures that the job is done right the first time.

Excellent communication is about listening as much as speaking. Planning should be an aspect of it as much as delivering, and introspective moments should enter into it as much as speechifying. There are lots of details on which you can work, but they all come back to the fundamental point of communicating well with those around you.


You Must Foster Connectedness Between Team Members

One of the things you should do to establish a meaningful connection with your team members is to build strong personal relationships with each of them. At the same time, they attempt to foster relationships between them.

As their leader, you are expected to reach out to them, not the other way around. There are different approaches for team governing practices as agile team management or cross-functional one or others. The one common principle that stays the same is your team development is dependent on you knowing how to fit together the puzzle pieces that are available to you.

Learn to Be People-Centric

Trust, commitment, developing networking skills, recognizing individual performances, and showcasing a people-centric approach should all be in your arsenal as a leader. They are all key components to building meaningful relationships in the workplace.

Trust is one of the most vital leadership traits, and it isn’t something that happens spontaneously. You have to earn it. Part of this process will be communicating clearly, listening to others, setting expectations, and showing appreciation for your team contribution. 

Acting with transparency goes beyond giving your stakeholders a glimpse at the decision-making process. You also need to demonstrate the same technique with your subordinates.

Multi-Dimensional Thinking

Much like quantum computing, multidimensional thinking and cognitive flexibility are now key skillsets for all leaders in business to develop. Welcoming multiple perspectives is also essential if you want your team to grow together.

One of the leadership strengths that is emphasized in modern thinking is the ability to change your mindset when a better idea presents itself. Rigidity is the enemy for the modern leader.

Identifying and Living Your Life’s Purpose

Finding a sense of inner purpose will unlock a new meaning to your life, your work, and your leadership capabilities. Self-fulfillment is key to long-term workplace success if you hope to lead others and inspire them. It is incumbent upon a leader to encourage these tendencies both in themselves and others.

Never Stop Learning

In their August 2018 issue, Forbes talked about leaders “learning how to learn” to stay relevant in the modern era. What they were talking about is an understanding that no leader ever knows everything. Their niches will always evolve, so there is no final or ultimate understanding that can ever be achieved.

Upgrading, skilling, and re-skilling are all imperative. You have to be a perpetual student to stay on top in an ever-fluctuating world. Leadership development requires you to always be self-motivated.

You should now have some conception of the leadership principles that are most desirable in 2020. If you hope to propel your company forward, take the advice we’ve given you to heart.

Perhaps the greatest leadership challenge you may face will be opening yourself up to new ideas and ways of thinking. If you let it happen, though, you should see a positive impact both in company morale and your bottom line.


More Conversations, Fewer Rules

Great leaders did not become that way by devising more rules. In fact, even the best rules typically discourage conversation. Most newer leadership models reinforce some variation of this theory.

Rules imposed by others, rather than those which are co-created, drive down engagement. As a leader, you should learn how to successfully navigate challenging situations with the right approach and manage the conversations in the right way. Developing the intellect and sharpening your sensitivity will serve you well. Try to be emotionally agile and human-centric. Learn to see both sides of any dispute.

Focus on Strengths

Outside of the domain of inclusion, leaders must practice strengths-based leadership. Recognize high-performing individuals and promote them to positions of authority accordingly.

Part of being a role model is seeing and acknowledging desirable traits in others. This would be one of the leadership characteristics that comes with time and patience.

Author Bio
Slava Vaniukov Slava Vaniukov, Co-Founder and CEO at Softermii, has over 9-years of experience in the web and mobile development industry as a Software Architect. After getting extensive experience as a Senior Tech Lead, Slava joined forces with like-minded professionals to start his own company. Besides that, he is one of the authors for the Softermii blog and tech blogger featured at a wide range of other web resources.

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