Seven Leadership Trends for 2018

Author: Gottfried Feyen, Contributor
Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.

2018 is around the corner, and 2017 ends shortly. Questions on how to better manage human capital have topped leadership conversations all around the world, which is a great thing. Also, one word you should keep in mind for the upcoming year is simplicity.I am no fortune teller, but I believe that the following are the seven leadership trends for 2018.


Shutterstock | Forbes

1) Keep it simple
Over the past three years, the importance to move away from complex structures and simplify organisations became clear to me. Not only it will help companies to be better equipped to face the challenges of the fast-paced markets, but it will also help employees to focus more on practical and rewarding tasks. For more insight on this topic, you should have a look at the Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report.

2) Redesign your management style
Paying extra attention to your performance management process is what is going to make your organisation stand out in the next couple of years. It is crucial to establish communication in which leaders outline what they expect from their employers regarding goals and ways to measure their completion to achieve this success, Indeed a goal-oriented strategy gives employees clarity and a higher motivation to achieve their goals.

3) Invest in ‘human capital.’
The “Overwhelmed Employee” syndrome has been an enormous issue in companies stuck in an old generation mid-level management for years. In addition to that, the arrival of young workers thirsty for meaningful projects to work on is a factor to take into account certainly. Corporations need to invest more time into creating space for their employees to give them honest feedback (anonymous surveys might be an option). Not only, but it will also help them to achieve better success and to retain their workforce who will feel supported.

4) Do less, lead more
HR and managers have increasingly become process designers. Leadership and management problems are simple by nature and what we as leaders need to do is to use trial and error methods in our managing style. We do this by letting our employees make more decisions and accepting that they might not get it right the first time. Our ability to do less and lead more makes us better leaders.

5) Forget about 9 to 5


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The full-time employment model no longer makes sense. Research or studies disclosed multiple times that long working hours make you less productive. Therefore, leadership, whether we are talking about governments at a local or global scale, need to revise their employment model to put individual performance and education at the core of their development. That approach is an excellent way to answer the needs for purpose and meaningful projects of the young generation of employees.

6) Make technology work for you
Technology plays a massive part in our professional and personal lives, and that is okay. What is not ok is that we have gone way too far head-over-heels with our devices and tended to rely on them exclusively. It is crucial that managers step up and use technology to enforce their technical expertise and leadership. These comprehensive leadership programs (from Harvard Business School) are great options to learn how to control optimisation and process flow. Once again, human capital is at the basis of the company’s success.

7) Just do it
Dynamic Leadership Models for Global Business explain it well: Leaders learn by leading, and they learn best by ‘leading’ in the face of obstacles. Human capital learns best by doing as they know not doing as they learned. The principle is simple, and the simplicity is to encourage the single employee who acts like an atom which is the smallest particle of an element that has the properties of the core element.
The reference to Nike might make you smile but it summarises things pretty well: people learn by doing. Managers become great leaders by their capability to make the right call when facing adversity and people become great employees (and ultimately great leaders) by their capacity to deliver exceptional results on a regular basis. The way to master leadership techniques Peter Smith has well explained in the book Dynamic Leadership Models for Global Business. Each person in a company is like an atom: their contribution helps to create an element, which in this case equal to the company’s culture and success.

About the Author: Gottfried Feyen is the founder and Principal of INTRES Advisory a boutique business development and management firm and RAKAMS.


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