The Marketing Manager gently closes the door behind him, explains it’s been a pleasure working with the team, but he’s been offered a position he can’t refuse and is moving on to new adventures. This position was critical for the company and we needed to find a replacement that could kick big goals. It was one of those decisions where I felt immense pressure to get it right first time.
Hire people better than you. My grandpa always said if you hire someone who knows less than you, how will you ever grow? Managers get scared that someone will take their job so they don't, when in reality it's only affecting their forward progress.
If an idea is not ready, you have to give it room to breathe. With the advent of robots everywhere, ideas and creativity are going to become the most precious of assets, and if we are constantly pressed into making decisions by unrealistic deadlines, then we won't find the best ideas for the challenges ahead.
Build a strong team that you can trust. Let them do their job knowing that you're there to support and mentor them along the way. When things don’t go to plan they are often the sharpest ones to deal with the issues.
What success looks like is conventional wisdom that I hope is changing (it still applies but I'd like to see that change!). I think it is really important for each individual to define what success looks like for them, at that stage of their life rather than adopting corporate mantras of promotions, money, status, etc.
The term 'are you on the bus or off the bus' is a marker for failed leadership. If I ever hear that, I instantly feel we've got something wrong. It's a veiled threat that masks a leader who has exhausted all their tools without getting buy-in from the team. It is used by leaders trying to reinforce their own position.
In the case of students I have a big responsibility to keep them on track and motivated. Milestones can be a way to do this but when they aren’t clear or mutually agreed upon, it rarely works. And when goals are unrealistic and never achieved, it can quickly lead to a pretty negative experience for everybody.
Job descriptions no longer apply in today's workplace. The best teams focus on the outcome that the organisation needs to achieve and adapt themselves to do what needs to be done. Commonality of purpose (with passion) trumps a job description any time.
I predict that resilience and mental strength will be crucial, we will need to re-focus on self-critiquing and continuous improvement of oneself rather than pointing out inabilities of others, human interactions will remain extremely important.
One conventional thought was that managers are here to tell us what to do. In my generation we grew up with the idea that our manager's word was final. "Why is the manager's word the last word? Because he or she is the boss - that's why!" When I first became a manager I had some of my team look at me as if I should be the ultimate oracle and font of knowledge. In no way should this apply now.
You’ve got to know very clearly what you stand for (your non-negotiables), what you want, and then you must walk your talk. You can’t hold others accountable until you are willing to hold yourself accountable to the things that matter most to you.
Trade degrees like law, IT, accounting etc will vanish. They are completely absurd and the market will soon realise that on the job training and Certificates are all that is needed given how narrowly specialised and niched the professions have become. Plus a short university course that teaches you how to think, how to research.
Teams will be fluid and adaptable with skills being utilized in various projects regardless of titled role. Workplaces will identify the importance of retention and passive recruitment by creating an office environment people want to be in and flexible work arrangements that work for both parties.
I predict that more women will eventually receive senior executive roles and become CEO’s. Statistics verify that companies with a high representation on boards and in senior management have between 4 to 6% better balance’s sheets and P&L success mainly due to their work ethic and their sense of responsibility to the company and their shareholders.
I predict the skills needed to lead effectively will move away from theory and models, and into helping people to become better communicators, better self-managers and better humans who have the confidence, courage and skills to have the conversations that at the moment, they either avoid or implement poorly!
Lead by example: The golden rule is golden for a reason. From my experience, if you operate with honesty, integrity, mutual respect and treat people in your team the way you'd like to be treated... you pretty much can't go wrong.
Workplaces are changing, I predict that a surprising number and variety of jobs will be done by machines. Think artificial intelligence. The most important jobs will involve making sure the machines keep working. Workplaces will become smaller and smarter.